Nurses are the unsung heroes of the healthcare industry. They are always on their feet, work long hours, and put themselves at risk to serve those that need them most. A nurse’s duties vary based on the patient they are working with. A constant stream of diverse patients requires nurses to be agile, forward-thinking, and hardworking. Nurses play many roles in the healthcare field, the most significant of which are outlined below.
The Patient Advocate
Often, nurses are the first and last touchpoints for patients throughout their medical journey. Nurses are there for patients, whether they are in for a routine check-up or a procedure that will demand many stages and an interdisciplinary team of professionals. Over the course of their care, they will develop a professional and personal relationship with their patients. In seeing the full scope of a patient and their journey, nurses become patient advocates.
These professionals are in place to help maintain patient rights and keep them safe. Nurses are critical players in situations where a patient’s needs, their family’s interests, and the doctor’s recommendations are not in alignment. Nurses help communicate viewpoints across parties, so a healthcare plan in the best interest of the patient’s health is promptly put into action.
While caregiving and nursing are separate professions, nurses can, in many capacities, serve as temporary caregivers. In addition to managing a patient’s care and advocating for their best interests, nurses are in place to assist patients and make sure they are comfortable. During short hospital stays, they may help patients take medicine, eat, bathe, and use the bathroom. The care that nurses show while performing these tasks can often impact a patient’s health outcome.
The Energizer Bunny
Nursing is one profession that has remained in demand across centuries, in times of war, peace, and uncertainty. With uncertainty regarding COVID-19, hospitals and medical institutions are under an extreme amount of pressure. Nurses are in such high demand right now that retired nurses are hitting pause on their retirement. These individuals are dusting off their scrubs and clocking in to aid hospitals and overworked nurses feeling the effects of COVID-19. These individuals are helping answer phone calls and complete hospital rounds. These experienced professionals know nursing is a demanding profession.
During this time of uncertainty, many jobs have cut back on employee hours or are making adjustments so workers can work from the safety of their homes. This is entirely the opposite for nurses, many of whom are continuing to show up at hospitals and clinics, often pulling long shifts. Their work puts them at risk for contracting COVID-19. Despite reports of healthcare professionals falling ill after caring for an infected patient, these individuals continue to serve their communities and home countries.
The Swiss Army Knife
Nurses do it all. Examples of what a nurse does on a daily basis include, but are not limited to, giving medication, administering IVs, recording patient histories, providing emotional support, and educating patients and their loved ones on healthcare plans and preventative medicine. Nurses are vital to the productivity of physicians. They keep medical institutions running.
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