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The Workforce of Psychiatrist Nurse Practitioners to be Doubled: Refilling Discontent Gaps of Mental Health Care

The pandemic has made us aware of healthcare breaches that need to be filled. And, shortage of psychiatric nurses is one of them. 

According to the research of Harvard University, “the number of visits in the clinic reached more than 12 million, and to counter that number there were only 50,000 providers during the pandemic.”

The shortage of clinical staff like nurses, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals was noticed during the pandemic. 

In addition, researchers at Harvard T.H Chan school of public health analyzed that, there are drastic changes seen over time in the use of psychiatric and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners.

However, They found that psychiatric and psychiatric mental health nurse practitioners treated patients similarly with the same level of services and prescriptions.  

As a result, practitioner nurses were hired to divide the workload and control the number of patients who are not getting proper healthcare services. 

Psychiatrist nurse practitioners are a cardinal part of the mental health care 

Psychiatrist nurses with specialized training can help to address, assess, and monitor a mental health condition. 

Role of Psychiatrist nurses in mental health care:

  • Helping in the assessment of mental health care deliver
  • Supporting people to regain or improve coping abilities 
  • Observing and analyzing the progress
  • Educating mental health patients, such as psychoeducational
  • Counseling and guiding patients or other types of interpersonal support
  • Lead the role of a case manager to help healthcare professionals and others coordinate
  • Spreading mental health awareness
  • Conducting individual or group therapy sessions offline as well as virtually through telemedicine

“PMHSs might work with individuals, groups, families, and communities, according to the American Psychiatrist Nurse Association.”

They are skilled and trained to work with almost every segment of the population including children, adolescents, older people, people with substance use disorder, and so on. 

As a result, they are an important part of mental health care delivery and are helpful to other healthcare professionals too.

What is the reason behind the increase in the force of psychiatric nurses?: Behind the scene story

During the pandemic, people come into depression, stress, and anxiety. Psychiatrists came into action, but they face a shortage of psychiatric practitioners nurses. 

As a situation like a pandemic had never come before, so they were not aware of dealing with these circumstances. 

In addition, the requirement for mental healthcare services was doubled, and the number of patients was twice. And on another hand, provider supply is almost decreasing among psychiatrists, particularly in rural areas.

We need solutions. As a result, mental health practitioner nurses were the best option and they are a key part of the mental health workforce that has received attention in mental health policy. We need to underline that knowledge gap. 

“The number of psychiatrist mental health practitioners nurses jumped 162% compared with a 6% decrease in the number of psychiatrists. But the shortage of mental health practitioners nurse in rural areas was still around 80%.” 

Cracks need to be filled to make mental health care more reliable

There are still many barriers along the path of mental health care delivery and they need to be fulfilled, as to make mental health care more accessible and affordable. 

  • Increase the number of psychiatrists mental health practitioners nurses
  • Implementing a technological solution like telemedicine to overcome the number of in-patient visits to the clinic
  • Improve access to mental health services
  • Barriers to accessing mental healthcare include, difficulty in identifying and communicating distress
  • Insufficient mental health care policies

A major amount of mental health care is now provided virtually

According to the report, the mental health practitioner nurses were one of the largest care providers group who is practicing and participated in mental health telemedicine, during the pandemic. 

And maybe this will be a turning point for virtual mental health which is expected to grow in the upcoming years.

Sources: Commonwealth Fund

As per the report, “the market size of telemedicine will cross around $60.9 billion in 2020 and it is expected to grow at an 18.2% compound annual growth rate between 2021-2027.”

Even though technological solutions like medical practice management software have also come into use. Which is eventually helping mental health practitioners nurse in the medical care delivery.

To sum it up: 

Although, the mental health workforce is increasing. Now the time is to spotlight the other gaps and fulfill them with the help of effective technological solutions and the future of mental health care. 

Health tech has already succeeded in bringing technology solutions like AI, IoT, and machine learning to mental health care. In addition, it can be used for mental health therapy too.

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