Every role in healthcare is important, and it’s not fair to say that one role is more important than another, but the focus of this article will be on why nurses are key players in healthcare. If you have ever thought about becoming a nurse, or are considering a healthcare career and are thinking about your options, read on to see how nurses are vital to this sector and to help you decide if it’s a role you might want to pursue.
They Perform Numerous Tasks
Nurses are there to help support doctors and other medical staff, as well as helping patients. However, their job isn’t just limited to administering medications, filing patient records, and assisting doctors. Nurses are also there to bathe and groom patients, serve them meals, comfort them when they’re scared or frustrated, liaise with patients and doctors, liaise with relatives and loved ones of the patient. If a nurse has certain qualifications, they may also be able to prescribe medications, carry out physical exams, and develop treatment plans with patients. There is a lot to do on the day of a nurse, making them an integral part of the team.
They Work in Various Places
Nurses are not just based in hospitals but are also essential team members in conventional doctor’s offices, clinics, schools, and colleges, in nursing homes or other senior care facilities, mental health facilities, and even working for patients privately at home. They provide healthcare support in a variety of environments, which makes it a great career choice if you don’t want to work in a hospital setting necessarily, but still, work directly with patients.
As mentioned previously, nurses provide support to both other healthcare staff and patients and their relatives. It’s important to highlight this point, especially how they can help patients. They are the members of the medical staff that work more closely with patients, forming bonds with them. A lot of people who are recovering from surgery or are ill can become scared, angry, uncomfortable, or sometimes confused if they are coming round from strong painkillers or medication or are suffering from dementia. It’s very important that these vulnerable people feel as though they can trust their nurse, and have someone who can be an advocate for them throughout their care. Supporting the families and friends of a patient is also key, as they could be going through a distressing time if their loved one is sick or injured, and they too need to feel as though someone is helping them to get answers and the attention that they need.
They Can Help the Development of Healthcare
Nurses are hands-on contributors to healthcare, but if they continue with their studies they could eventually move into more research-based roles that can help to develop the future of healthcare practices. Those that study doctors of nursing degrees can use this in a variety of roles. They could also carry out academic and medical research to be published and used for future healthcare students, or even use their research to help support and advice the health department for government. With their academic knowledge and experience working as a nurse, this is an ideal combination to create innovative ideas for the future of the healthcare sector.
They Are Mentors
More experienced nurses usually help to mentor newly qualified nurses or nurses in training as they adjust to what it’s like working on a busy ward, or in a clinic, etc. Mentoring is important in any industry, but in nursing, it’s an incredibly important role as the pressures of this job can be overwhelming. Being a mentor to a newly qualified nurse means that they are getting the right support and encouragement to improve their performance and advance in their career. It means a lot to new nurses that enter into a healthcare working environment and helps to make the overall nursing team stronger.
They Are Educators
Acting as a mentor to new nurses is, in a way being an educator, but nurses do provide education to people outside of healthcare, too. They will teach the patient and the carers of a patient how to look after them once they are discharged and return home, whether it’s showing them certain exercises, telling them when and how often to take their medication, what diet they should stick to, etc. They can also provide healthcare education to other members of the public via talks at schools or drop-in clinics.
Every person who works in healthcare is important, but above are just some of the reasons why nurses are key players.