As patient advocates and skilled care providers, nurses make up the backbone of the healthcare industry and also play an increasingly large role in the administrative side of healthcare. With an increasing number of patients in need of more care than ever before, the role of nurses has never been more important in meeting the healthcare needs of this growing number of patients. Consistently ranked as one of the most trusted professions worldwide, year after year, nursing is also a very noble profession that helps families learn to become healthy by helping them understand the range of mental, emotional, physical, and cultural experiences they encounter during illness and health. However, there is still a nursing shortfall that must be overcome. As nurses take on more responsibilities, this blog post will discuss the role of nursing to answer the question, “What is the role of nurses in healthcare?”
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The Role of Nurses in Modern Healthcare
Nurses have delivered a high standard of healthcare to the general public since the beginning of healthcare. However, professional respect within the medical community was hard-won through years of organizing, lobbying, and most importantly, through academic advancement of the nursing profession. Despite their countless responsibilities, nurses were viewed as less integral members of a clinical care team till around 70 years ago. It’s applaudable that they have fought for more recognition and today command much more autonomy and respect, enjoying an increasingly collaborative relationship with healthcare professionals and physicians. From the relationships they foster with patients to the ways in which they work with other practitioners, we need to have a look at what registered nurses do to understand why nurses are so important in healthcare today.
Nurses Spend More Time with Patients
For a moment, recall a recent doctor’s appointment. The chances are that a nurse was the first person you saw after you checked in at the front desk. You might also remember that they probably made what seemed like a small talk between asking about your health and checking your vitals. However, that small conversation was not only to avoid silence or make you feel at ease. A skilled nurse understands that taking adequate time for knowing the patients can be really beneficial in unveiling important health information that patients might not reveal otherwise. The nurse likely returned to talk through any medications the doctor prescribed and to ask if you had any confusion or queries before assisting you with the checkout. Nurses spend more time with patients in hospitals, according to a recent study. Intensive care patients spent around 86% of the time with nurses, compared to just 13% with physicians. The time spent with nurses was even greater in the case of overnight hospital stays.
Nurses As Patient’s Advocates
The time nurses spend with patients also allows them to know unique details about their patients’ behaviors, needs and wants, concerns, and health habits, thus making them important advocates in their care. In fact, advocacy can be considered a “pillar of nursing” and one of the most significant reasons why nurses are essential in healthcare. The advocacy role of a nurse can be seen in many other forms, too. For example, in speaking with a patient’s attendant, a nurse might unveil a critical detail that was not reflected in the patient’s charts and relay this to the healthcare team. Or a nurse might observe that medication is not showing results as expected and ask the pharmacist to reconsider his prescription.
Nurses And Their Role In Monitoring Patients’ Health
Without discussing the monitoring of patients’ care and keeping of records, there can be no mention of the role of nurses in today’s complex and complicated healthcare environment. Previously, we shed light on nurses’ role as front line health care workers. It is nurses who monitor patients’ condition day in and day out. While physicians and other members of the care team also check on patients in assessing patients. Nurses chart everything from reasons for visiting and patients’ vital signs to their current medications and the likelihood of falling (referred to as a “fall risk score”).
To Wrap Up:
All of the information above was enough to explain how important is the role of nurses in healthcare. To know more about nursing, visit our website.