Currently, the specialty of nursing is gaining more and more popularity. It significantly changes the importance of nurses in the healthcare system and in relationships with the patients. In this specialty, the main form of activity is the nursing process.
The concept of the nursing process significantly expands the possibilities for the nurse to participate in the provision of care and subsequent treatment of the patient. She does not act as a simple executor of the doctor’s will, as it was before, but collects an anamnesis, makes a preliminary diagnosis, and then constantly monitors the patient’s behavior, informs the doctor about all the changes, and participates in the patient’s bypass.
The importance of nurses in the healthcare system
People who are planning to pursue a Bachelor of Science in nursing often wonder if it is a suitable career for them. They also consider whether they will be playing an important role in society. A nursing career can be very demanding, but at the same time very giving, both in terms of material and emotional rewards. A nurse can independently monitor, treat (maintain nursing medical records) of certain groups of patients (for example, in hospices), and call a doctor only for consultation.
In addition, public organizations of nurses are created and operate to address the problems of nursing in the healthcare system. Moreover, they work to enhance the prestige of the profession, to attract members of the organization to research in the field of nursing, to hold conferences, seminars on topical issues in nursing, and to protect the legal rights of nurses, etc.
And this is understandable, because nurses, possessing the latest knowledge, and constantly updating it by, for example, getting their PALS certificate renewed to do their job more efficiently and effectively, which will not only affect the well-being of patients, but also the nurses’ satisfaction with their work.
And although in most healthcare institutions the prevailing traditional approaches to the role of a nurse in the diagnostic and treatment process so far assign her the role of an executor of prescriptions of a doctor.
I would like to believe that in the process of reforming the healthcare system the role of a nurse will be confirmed in the direction of increasing her professional competence, professional and social status, as well as the prestige of the profession, which will contribute to the consolidation of specialists in nursing and, as a result, improve medical assistance.
THE ROLE OF MEDICAL NURSES
The development of health care, both in our country and abroad, and the associated “industrialization” of the medical care process with the active introduction of high technologies for examination and treatment, make the safety of medical activities particularly relevant. Safety is one of the most important components ensuring the quality of medical care along with its availability, optimality, and patient satisfaction with the results of its provision.
Nurses are nothing lesser than soldiers
The safety of a medical worker, in turn, is associated with professional risks of infection when working with biological fluids (urine, blood discharged from wounds), the risk of chemical damage (disinfectants, drugs, waste of anesthetic gases), and the risk of radiation (x-ray machines, isotope waste, radioactive excretion of patients after their isotope examination (urine, feces, vomit) or patient radioactivity. For example, after brachytherapy), as well as severe physical work and stress as a result of exposure to the unfavorable psychological atmosphere.
Economic losses from infectious diseases are great in numbers as well.
Infectious diseases during medical interventions cost millions of dollars per year. While about 320,000 doctors annually do not go to work because of illnesses, the mortality rate of medical workers under the age of 50 years is 32% higher than the average.
Professional risks involved in Nursing are preventable
Reducing the professional risk of contact with blood and preventing occupational diseases can be achieved by eliminating unnecessary injection techniques, reducing the number of needles used, proper disposal of sharp objects, introducing engineering controls, and using new models of injection devices (including engineering protection against injection), and also the observance of precautions when working with pricking and cutting objects. For instance, not placing the cap back on needles and protective covers on disposable blades.
Providing administrative control by the management of the medical institution, staff training, and the creation of appropriate reporting play a crucial role in the prevention of bloodborne infections within the medical organization.
Role of nursing in quality assurance
Quality assurance of medical technologies is achieved through the development and timely revision of the nursing procedures for the provision of medical care, standards, and technologies for the provision of medical services, taking into account the latest achievements of medical science based on evidence-based clinical practice (including nursing). In this regard, health care performance indicators that are sensitive to the quality of nursing care are distinguished.
These include urinary tract infections, bleeding from the upper gastrointestinal tract, an increase in the length of hospitalization, nosocomial pneumonia (including ventilator-associated), falling patients, post-injection complications (catheter-associated infections), and unsuccessful resuscitation measures.
Role of Nurses in Patient Safety
Patient safety may also be due to risks associated with erroneous diagnosis, the atypical course of the disease, errors in prescribing, improperly chosen dose of the drug, individual sensitivity, lack of labeling, counterfeit drugs, errors in dilution of drugs, drug interactions (compatibility), and fatal allergic reactions resulting from violations in the transmission of information about allergies.
Lack of adherence to treatment and self-medication adversely affect the well-being of patients. Studies have shown a significant increase in the risk of nosocomial mortality with an increase in the burden on a nurse, as well as a correlation between the level of education of nurses and the 30-day mortality rate, which was significantly lower if staffing levels were higher for nurses with a higher level of training.
Role of nurses in surgical practice
In surgical practice, the risks of erroneous surgical interventions, as well as errors in the calculation of instruments are possible.
Thus, the safety of medical activities can be facilitated by nurses in the following way:
Systematic training of personnel at all stages of professional development, taking into account an interdisciplinary approach, based on the latest scientific and technological developments, including experts in the field of clinical nursing practice,
Creating safe working conditions for medical workers by increased use of medical institutions of safety equipment and supplies,
Monitoring of risk groups among the health professionals widely,
Improving the system of internal and external audit of the quality of care,
Adequate placement with differentiated load and level of education,
Expanding the functions of nurses in the field of examination of clinical nursing practice; and
Developing the organizational culture of a medical institution aimed at ensuring the safety of patients and medical workers.
Nurses play an essential role in the healthcare system and their importance is indispensable. Today, nursing has become one of the brightest careers for people who want to pursue a fruitful career and at the same time serve humankind.