Hopefully, the readers of this blog are doing well, but we have all had to go to the hospital at some point. It could be a quick visit to the ER or a longer one to the doctor’s office, depending on the type of medical assistance needed – but if you ever have spent some time at the hospital, who do you interact with the most? Yes, you got it right: the nurses. The doctor only comes in for emergencies or routine check-ups, but the nurses are the ones who are present 24/7 around and with patients. Many things qualify nurses to be the best of the best with patients, especially those with complex illnesses needing constant care.
It isn’t just their education that makes them into what they are for patients with critical needs – it is their entire job. Read on ahead to understand more about nurses and their importance to hospitals.
Why nurses are so important
Nurses have been stigmatized for a long time because people believe they are somehow less hardworking or important than doctors. The truth cannot be more different, though. Nurses are a vital part of the healthcare industry, and here is why.
Education and counseling
You can’t just up and leave and become a nurse at a random hospital or clinic. You have to fulfill educational prerequisites to build a career as a nurse. If you see yourself going down this route, Baylor University has an excellent accelerated BSN program online. So, you can get your degree without leaving your current day job!
Nurses study just as hard as doctors do and have a great amount of knowledge – and the nurses communicate all of this with patients in terms that they understand. Nurses spend a lot of time with patients to teach them about their illnesses, the proposed treatment plans, potential side effects, etc. Imagine how comforting a nurse’s presence would be for a critical care patient who has no idea what is happening. Nurses work as medical professionals and counselors for patients with complex ailments to calm their nerves.
Nurses are there to talk to the patients, put their minds at ease, and give them hope because their loved ones can’t stay with them at the hospital. Critical patients, or even those with multiple illnesses, often lose the motivation and the willpower to go through days of recovery. It is very easy for them to fall into pits of hopelessness and depression.
Doctors do not have time to spend with patients to understand their needs and wants. On the other hand, nurses are the patient’s advocate, helping to bridge the communication gap between the families of the ill and the doctors. Sometimes a certain treatment or medicine might not be the best for a patient, or sometimes they have reasons to opt for a risky procedure compared with safer options, with distressed family members breathing down their necks. In such difficult situations, it is the nurses who step up.
Patient advocacy is a very tough job, and even though it isn’t an extension of medical services, nurses are trained to take on this role in addition to all the other work they do. A lot of experts believe that this is the most important role of a nurse, especially in the case of critical or seriously ill patients. It is of the utmost importance to console grieving and worried families, to get the patient to consent to daunting medical procedures, and to inform doctors what they should be doing per the patient’s needs.
A nurse’s job is to monitor patients and their recovery, especially the critical ones needing constant care. Not only do they know a patient’s vitals and other metrics, such as cholesterol levels, in excruciating detail, but they also have notes on how the patient responds to medications. They maintain important medical records, without which it is impossible to monitor progress. Still, the doctors would be lost without nurses constantly keeping records of said patients. The doctor makes all the decisions about the methods to ensure the patient gets healthy again.
Patients get timely and accurate care because the nurses are there to ensure that patient data is collected and well organized.
While it is true that doctors and senior physicians are the ones who call the shots in administering patient care, nurses are very important members of the decision-making process because they know the patient in the most detail. So, when plans are being made for specific patients who need a lot of care to improve, nurses are included in the teamwork to ensure that the treatment works.
If you are an aspiring nurse, you should know that it is one of the most demanding professions. You shouldn’t ever be discouraged into thinking that it is mediocre work. What can be bigger than being of service to humankind? That being said, you have to understand that nursing is a tough journey and should only be pursued by passionate people. It requires a lot of patience, a lot of education, and a lot of hard work. After all, it is a very difficult thing to do to facilitate doctors around the clock.