One may not underestimate the role of nurses in improving health care services. Their reliability and contributions make them the building blocks of any healthcare center. Be it patients or their families, doctors or physicians – everyone is reliant on nurses. The need to hire competent and skilled nurses has further surged due to the spread of the global pandemic as a significant number of patients now require healthcare services.
It is worth mentioning that the contribution and steadfastness of nurses during these challenging times have been commendable. Since they are highly trained professionals, patients tend to trust them more because of their empathetic nature. Doctors, too, find it easier to see as many patients as possible due to the constant support and care provided by nurses. All of this, and more, makes them such a crucial part of the healthcare unit. Let’s look at some ways nurses may contribute to improving health care services:
1. Continuing Education
To improve healthcare services, nurses have to strengthen their knowledge and skills. In addition to gaining more clinical experience, continuing education is another way to improve healthcare services. Given the rise in the number of patients and disease development, it is pertinent for nurses to remain abreast of the latest trends, treatment methods, and ways to limit the spread of disease.
However, due to the increasing preferences for remote learning, several education institutions now offer online education programs. It has further encouraged Registered Nurses to take up advanced education degrees such as an online Master of Science in nursing to expand their knowledge, skills, and expertise. These programs offer flexible timings, which allows nurses to learn and implement clinical skills while providing patient care. It improves the inclusive standard of the healthcare industry and enables nurses to empower patients by spreading health literacy and empowering patients.
2. Family-centered care
A complete healthcare service includes providing care to patients while considering the dynamics of their family background. Today, the nursing industry prefers to hire specialized professionals who can provide patient care while educating their families regarding preventative measures. A Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is one such example. These professionals counsel patients and their families to ensure positive behavioral changes. In the majority of the deprived communities, FNPs work as independent bodies and serve as primary care providers.
Given the rise in the importance of family-centered care and its contributions to patients’ health management, there has been a significant surge in the number of practicing nurses enrolling in the online MSN FNP program. The program offers them specialized training, enabling them to educate patients about developing health concerns. This type of care fosters information sharing, collaboration, and participation between patients, their families, and health practitioners.
3. Holistic Care
The new trends in the healthcare industry have shifted mass focus on providing patient-centered care. Hospitals now take responsibility to cater to the individual patient’s needs while considering their preference. It means that their focus is not only to provide physical wellness but also mental relaxation to patients. Research has shown that patient-centered care results in providing more favorable treatment outcomes.
Through holistic care, nurses try to develop and promote a positive and supportive environment for their patients. Some of the common ways to practice holistic care include encouraging patients to adopt a positive lifestyle, using therapeutic touch, developing positive communication, educating them about their health needs, etc. Through holistic care, nurses make sure that their patients are able to communicate their healthcare needs. It further enables them to improve patient’s experience to a greater extent.
4. Patient Empowerment
With the new policies regarding COVID-19, it has become a challenge to provide individualized care to all patients. To limit physical interactions, nurses have stepped forward by empowering patients through telehealth services. Telemedicine allows patients to take control of their health by gaining information regarding preventative measures. It has further enhanced communication between patients and healthcare providers, resulting in improving patients’ ability to manage chronic conditions.
5. Health Disparities
Being the primary source of care providers, nurses need to remain aware of the prevailing inequalities in the healthcare system. Even today, many people from marginalized populations have limited access to quality healthcare services and lack basic knowledge regarding disease prevention. The role of nurses is crucial in promoting health equity, as they are the ones who are more accessible to patients compared with other health experts. In the current times of extreme health crisis, nurses need to identify health disparities and devise meaningful strategies to make healthcare accessible to everyone.
Being a nurse comes with huge responsibilities, but it is a career of great prestige, which makes it worth it. Nurses tend to possess an empathetic streak which makes them an important role player in this field. Above we’ve mentioned a few ways that makes nurses an important contributor in healthcare.