Ever since the profession came into existence, nurses have delivered a high standard of care to the general public. However, it took several hard-worn years of continuous effort and dedication to earn professional respect within the medical community. Despite their countless responsibilities, previously, nurses were viewed as less integral team players in a clinical setting. After working tirelessly for recognition, they now command much more respect and autonomy while collaborating with physicians and other healthcare professionals.
With a growing list of patient expectations and needs, the nursing profession constantly evolves. The demands of an advancing and complex healthcare industry mean that the role of nurses has also shifted. By communicating with and understanding their patients, they have significantly improved patient outcomes in the past few decades. To understand how this happens, let’s look at all the ways nurses are making a difference in each individual’s life. The nursing profession is stable and highly sought after. Employment opportunities are continually increasing and the field is constantly expanding. Nurses have developed and grown along with the advancement of health care. Enrolling in the General Practitioners course is a great way for nurses to explore the nursing profession.
Serving as patient advocates
One of the most significant responsibilities of nurses is to serve as patient advocates. They do this by ensuring the physician or other medical professional addresses their patients’ concerns. By taking the time to focus on a patient’s fears, they can simplify a complex situation and remove whatever confusion they may have. They may also help their patient better understand a particular medical procedure and allow them to voice their worries regarding it.
Sometimes physicians may overlook minute patient details because of the limited time to make rounds. But nurses with advanced degrees like masters in nurse practitioner are better equipped to point out something the doctor may have missed. The knowledge and skills gained from such programs allow nurses to reduce the chances of a mistake or misdiagnosis.
Improving patient care
The role of nurses and how they perform their jobs is crucial for safeguarding quality patient care. Since they work in close contact with their patients, they’re always working on ways to improve medical outcomes. They do this by reducing a patient’s hospital stay and ensuring they make a speedy recovery to mitigate the risk of pneumonia or hospital-acquired infections.
Healthcare is likely to experience complex medical conditions due to an increasing life expectancy. Therefore, health policies and medical techniques are changing. Nurses play an essential role in helping patients understand their circumstances and leading healthy lifestyles. Nurses may reduce hospital expenses and even cure the patient by making adjustments in a patient’s daily routine.
Educating caretakers and patients
Most patients come with caretakers or attendants who stay with them throughout their hospital stay. Before leaving the hospital, attendants must clearly understand every detail of patients’ treatment regimens and best take care of them. Nurses explain what is suitable for the patient and what is not carefully.
Since patients and their attendants come from various backgrounds, most have health literacy limitations. Not surprisingly, those with low health literacy rates are likely to experience a poor health status in the future. To prevent this from happening, nurses educate them in understanding basic health information to make crucial decisions. Doing so improves individuals’ ability to take responsibility for their health and families.
Building healthier communities
Nurses work closely in addressing public health concerns to promote wellness strategies and reduce the risk of contracting illnesses. They made do this either by having a one-on-one discussion with each patient or by setting up camps that focus on a particular issue at a time. By taking an active part in these health promotion campaigns, they educate communities on preventive health measures. Several diseases like typhoid, tuberculosis, flu, and cholera have significantly reduced in numbers simply by educating communities on healthy behaviors.
By encouraging healthy lifestyles within communities, nurses can prevent the severity of other increasingly prevalent ailments like obesity, diabetes, and heart diseases.
Offering emotional support
Being admitted to a hospital is a scary experience and stressful for almost all patients. Often patients don’t share their concerns and worries with their loved ones because they don’t wish to scare them. However, if they don’t talk about what’s bothering them, it may manifest to deeper levels and cause growing health concerns. So while they can’t speak to their caretakers about it, patients can seek the help of nurses to manage their stress or anxiety from whatever they’re fearing. Nurses not only hold the medical expertise to answer complicated questions, but they’re also incredibly compassionate, which allows patients to feel at ease. Even small gestures such as a smile or answering a request for assistance can significantly impact an individual’s life.
Supporting loved ones
A nurse’s care and support go far beyond their patient. Watching a loved one go through a difficult medical procedure is tough, and so as caregivers, nurses help families through this challenging time. They also make sure a patient’s family is seen and heard, and their concerns don’t go unaddressed, whether it regards treatment, care, or tests. Nurses may even learn essential details about the patient by listening to stories from their loved ones. These details may seem insignificant to the attendant but may be crucial in a patient’s diagnosis or therapy plan.
Over the years, the role of nurses has evolved significantly. Today, they can make a considerable difference in individuals’ lives by advocating for them, improving care, and teaching them to take better care of themselves. Nurses can even bring changes at a larger scale by recommending local, state, or federal policies.