The role of nurses in healthcare is undeniably important. They administer medicine, provide comfort and guidance, and tirelessly take exceptional care of the patients day and night. Not only do they majorly assist the doctors, but they also build a strong relationship with the patients. In some countries, nursing is deemed the largest profession. Some even consider nursing the backbone of the healthcare system, and here are a few reasons why:
- Job Role
The job of nurses has become more demanding with the evolution of healthcare. In old times, nurses used to assist the doctors only in taking care of the patient. However, now their job role and duties are much more than that. They work closely with doctors, therapists, and physicists to develop health care plans for the patients. Nurses are also responsible for the safety, treatment, and recovery of patients with acute or chronic illnesses and injuries, dealing with emergencies, and even maintaining the health of healthy pupils. Apart from these roles, nurses are now involved in a lot of medical research too, which is why there are various competencies that they must achieve through education.
Just like doctors, nursing also involves years of education and dedication. Several levels distinguish practicing nurses, but in most countries, after high school or a bachelor’s degree, nurses must have certain years of practice experience. They must pass an exam after graduation to be licensed and registered. The registered nurses then go for an MSN (master) in their desired area of practice. At the topmost level is the doctoral degree for those who want to advance their practice roles and leadership. With the availability of many online MSN to DNP programs, many nurses opt to take their practice to higher levels.
In a day-to-day routine, nurses get to spend more time with the patients. This builds up familiarity between the patient and the nurse. Therefore, they knew the patient more closely. From their history to the medication, they know it all. They are aware of the symptoms of the patients, so it’s easier for them to track the progress and any other changes that need to be monitored.
They even have a rapport with the patients and listen to them. This is not just leisurely, but if needed, it makes for a good report about the patient. Patients are more at ease to share their concerns and problems with the nurses because of the increased interaction.
- Educating the Caretakers
Patients come along with their caretakers or attendants, who mostly take the front seat to take care of all the running around and communication with the doctors. As the doctors have less time to go into many details with everyone, it falls on the nurses’ shoulders to deal with the caretakers and address their concerns. The nurses also take this job with a lot of patience. They educate the caretakers about the hospital procedures, protocols, treatment, hygiene, proper diet, when and how to take the medications, etc.
Nurses also step up and offer their supportive shoulder to the patients and caretakers in desperate times. Their words of comfort and condolences are highly required when people are depressed and losing hope.
They have quite enough autonomy as they must take immediate action in case of emergencies and the non-availability of doctors. There are certain protocols to be followed, but sometimes the extreme condition of the patient requires immediate stabilization, which the nurse can do.
- Patient-Centered Approach
Nurses have always been dedicated to serving their patients and easing their pains. They always look for what is best for each patient and plan their treatments according to each individual’s needs. Although nurses also have specializations, their job nature enables them to know little about everything. Nurses have many one-to-one experiences with other patients leading them to be quite experienced in knowing which treatments work better than others. Therefore, they also have many suggestions up their sleeves to take the patient on a quicker path of recovery.
- Hard Work
Certainly, it is the hard work of the nurses who build on their importance. Nurses work day and night with doctors and patients. They are extremely vigilant to distinguish among hundreds of patients and treatments. Despite the various challenges the nurses must face, like gender discrimination or professional discrimination, they always give more than their 100%. Everyone gets equal care from children to adults, no matter how tired or frustrated they are. All this makes them the most hardworking healthcare members.
There has to be a partnership between a doctor and nurse for the smooth running of the healthcare system. They both bring their exclusive set of knowledge, expertise, as well as their experiences to the table. The efforts and dedication of nurses have always been commendable. People treat nurses above their doctors and other healthcare professionals as they become faces of familiarity and comfort. Today, as nurses make up the largest workforce in healthcare, the appreciation this profession receives makes it the greatest profession in healthcare.