The Evolving Role of Nurses in the Healthcare System

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Envision yourself getting sick and rushing towards a hospital. Your first thought will be to see a doctor or at least a nurse attending to you immediately. Upon reaching the hospital, you find that there is no nurse available and that is on duty is busy with other patients. how will you feel? Anyone in this situation will feel helpless and unattended. Let us move a little forward to the pandemic of COVID-19. We all know how the collaborative efforts of nurses and doctors have helped us survive the outbreak. The healthcare professionals covered every extra mile required for their patients’ safety and prevented the virus’s spread.

When we hear the word healthcare industry or a hospital, the first image that pops into our mind is nurses and doctors walking around. The hustle and bustle of a hospital with patients waiting outside and nurses rattling their carts is the hospital’s usual picture. The field of nursing is very old, and modern nursing dates back to the efforts of Florence nightingale on a battlefield. Since that time, the field of nursing has advanced tremendously in different healthcare domains.

From working in a hospital setting to a school set up, nurses play a vital role in providing the best care to those in need. Nurses have been a historical symbol of the healthcare system. They play a substantial role in improving the quality of healthcare services as they have the most interactions with patients. Their profession is one of the most honorable and noble professions in the healthcare industry. Many youngsters are pursuing their professional degree in the nursing field. Nurses working in the healthcare industry looking for a better role and position can opt for an online masters degree in nursing to achieve their professional goals.

  1. Managing Patient Care

When you enter a hospital, nurses will first attend to patients coming in ER or routine follow-up. They are the primary caregivers for patients helping them manage their physical needs, treat ailments, and prevent illnesses. They observe and monitor a patient’s condition, recording any relevant information useful in their treatment. A nurse follows the progress of a patient throughout the treatment process. If they find something unusual, they will be the first ones to coordinate with a doctor. As a care provider, the role of nurses has evolved beyond the administration of therapies and medication. They shoulder the responsibility of providing holistic patient care, focusing on their physical, mental, psychosocial, and emotional needs.

  1. Patient’s Advocate

Nurses are the direct care providers for a patient, and they always prioritize their comfort and satisfaction. Nurses are the best advocate for their patients. They advocate for their best interest and maintain their dignity throughout the treatment and care procedures. They also contribute to patients’ treatment plans, collaborate with other healthcare professionals, and decide what is best for their patients. Unwell patients cannot comprehend the medical situation or understand their diagnosis.

Nurses support their patients by representing their concerns and symptoms when a doctor is devising their treatment plan. Often a patient cannot understand or describe the symptom to a doctor. Still, nurses can help their patients by telling the doctor about the progress of a patient.

  1. Care Planners

Since nurses are the primary caregivers in the healthcare industry, they can pitch in their suggestions or report their observations to amend the treatment plan. Nurses are critical thinkers and problem solvers. They manage and look after many patients, each with a different diagnosis and treatment plan. If something goes wrong and the doctor is not around, nurses are the ones to decide what is best for their patients or how they can improvise the situation. Nurses are most familiar with a patient’s condition as they monitor and record their progress regularly. They also communicate effectively to other teams to overtake their shift to prevent any mishap in the treatment plan.

  1. Patient Support and Education

Not every patient can read or understand the medical terms or the disease they have. A doctor shoulders the responsibility of diagnosing and devising a treatment plan by analyzing a patient’s condition. On the other hand, nurses ensure that patients can understand their health, symptoms, illness, and other preventive measures. When a patient gets discharged from the hospital, nurses educate them about their treatment plan. Nurses interact with their family members to inform them about the medicine and other procedures that a patient may need at home. They also ensure that a patient feels comfortable and supported while leaving the hospital. Many nurses take follow-ups through phone calls to check n discharged patients if they need any assistance.





  1. Greater Autonomy

Nurses indeed are responsible for a patient’s health and safety, but they also enjoy their profession to a great extent. Nurse today have greater autonomy in their profession than it was in the past. In case of critical situations where a patient may need immediate medical assistance, nurses can quickly and prompt decisions to facilitate their patient. Nurses have a thorough understanding of all the treatment protocols. They often collaborate with other nurses to find the best possible solutions related to patient care. Nurse with healthcare management majors can reform and reshape many administrative operations within a hospital setting.

  1. On-Field Insights

Nurses are the best in the information or knowledge about a certain aspect of a healthcare setting. Their rotations from one department to another or another hospital allow them to learn many things. They observe and notice the administrative conditions. Nurses can play an influential role in improvising hospital management or patient satisfaction by giving their valuable inputs in board meetings. They are the one who gets to interact with different patients, and they can know better if there is something that is not up to a patient’s liking.

Conclusion

Nurses are the primary caregivers and play a substantial role in setting a hospital’s care standards. Patients spend significant time interacting with a nurse during their stay at a hospital. Nurses work in different settings outside the hospital settings; they can work in a law firm, at a school, mental health clinics, and nursing homes. Nurses today are enjoying their profession’s perks and their autonomy while working with experienced and skilled healthcare professionals. The nursing profession has evolved greatly. It still has many growth potentials for new nurses and takes primary care standards to the next level. To enter the field of nursing, you need a minimum bachelor’s degree and explore different career pathways existing within this field.

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