Abstract: Is nursing just a profession?
To some certain extent, one might argue and say Nursing is just like any other profession, which involves specialized training, prolonged training and formal qualifications. However, nursing is way more than that it needs competent performance of individuals, autonomy of practice, adherence to an established code of ethics, expansion of the level of knowledge, and a common culture and values present among members. The purpose of this article is to explore and give reasons why nursing is beyond just a profession; it’s a life dedication.
Nurses are 'the most trusted healthcare professionals.' They are with patients throughout the continuum of life. Nurses are teacher, advocates, caregivers, critical thinkers, and innovators. Nursing is an honorable profession, and nurses are the heart and soul of the healthcare system. Over the annals of time there is no any other profession or field of study that has contributed unanimously, essential to providing quality care to the living of humankind like nursing. During the World War I more than 23,000 nurses delivered care to soldiers serving on the front lines and to servicemen who returned home injured. When World War II began, nurses stepped up again. More than 78,000 nurses joined the armed forces and served in various areas, both on the battlefront and in recovery hospitals. After the war, however, the nursing profession continues to serve and care humanity.
According to the US Department of Labor's revised Occupational Outlook Handbook (2000), the most dedicated profession an individual can engage himself is nursing simply because they work to promote health, prevent disease, and help patients cope with illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families, and communities. When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess, and record symptoms, responses, and progress; assist physicians during treatments and examinations; administer medications; and assist in convalescence and rehabilitation. R.N.s also develop and manage nursing care plans; instruct patients and their families in proper care; and help individuals and groups take steps to improve or maintain their health." These are not all but rather part of the services nurses render to humankind. In our contemporary world, Nursing is constantly expanding its scope of practice and challenging its workforce to continue its education.
Contribution of Nursing to care
Nurses have great influence on health care system Care is the concern of all health workers and needs collaboration based on mutual trust and respect. The nurse makes not the only but a unique contribution to care. In the primary care team she has information about the patient as a 'whole' person and about his or her family on the basis of which she can assess total needs and make appropriate arrangements for these to be met. She communicates with the medical and other members of the health professions in the interest of coordinated and total care, including continuity of care between home and hospital, where appropriate. In hospital, nurses are the only professional workers providing a continuous and direct caring service. Care is a concept implying a measure of constancy and continuity. These two aspects, reinforced by communication, coordination, explanation, education and empathy, are some of the main components in the nurse's contribution to care. Because of their strong influence and importance in the health care system, nurses have to continually adapt to the system changes and circumstances.
The Impact of Nursing to the society
Nursing can be a physically and emotionally demanding occupation, but it can have its benefits as well. In addition to caring for patients on a daily basis, nurses can:
o Help teach local communities
o Help improve the quality of patient care
o Act as patient advocates
o Help provide counseling
o Be difference-makers
While the majority of registered nurses care for a small number of patients at one time, public health nurses have the responsibility of caring for a large group of people, sometimes-entire communities. They educate community members about a variety of health trends and topics, such as risk factors, disease prevention, early disease detection and the promotion of good health within a specific group or community. Some additional roles of public health nurses include:
o Teaching families how to care for others who are sick or disabled,
o Educating local community members about methods to improve health and wellness
Quality Care Improvement
According to a December 2015 survey by Gallup, nurses were ranked as the most trustworthy professionals, with 85% of Americans ranking their honesty and ethical standards as high or very high. Moreover, nurses have topped Gallup’s list every year since 2001, continually ranking higher than other professions like doctors, teachers, clergymen and law enforcement officials.
Based on the survey results, nurses can instill hope in their patients. They have the opportunity to make meaningful contributions in the lives of patients and their families every day. Nurses have an immense influence over a patient’s healthcare experience, and their actions can provide a lasting impact.
The American Nurses Association defined nursing as, “the protection, promotion, and optimization of health and abilities, prevention of illness and injury, alleviation of suffering through the diagnosis and treatment of human response, and advocacy in the care of individuals, families, communities and populations.”
As an advocate, it is a nurse’s duty to communicate with a patient, inform them, stand by them, and at times, act on their behalf. Hospitals are often crowded, loud, confusing, uncomfortable and scary for many patients. Nurses who are serving as patient advocates can help explain terms and conditions to patients who are in distress. Speaking to patients in ways they can understand can help calm them down, relieve stress and help improve their overall healthcare experience.
While nurses primarily tend to the healthcare needs of others, they can also provide counsel to their patients in the form of wisdom, guidance or professional opinion. Counseling can go hand-in-hand with patient advocacy, in the fact that each involves a nurse assisting a patient by advising, instructing or helping them understand healthcare processes and procedures.
Counseling also refers to end-of-life care and comfort for the patient and their family members. Through counsel, nurses can help prepare individuals and their families for the difficult choices or circumstances that they may need to face in the near future. Sometimes, a nurse’s presence makes a big difference for those dealing with fear of the unknown.
Nurses Can Make a Difference
Nurses around the world serve others 24-hours-a-day, seven days a week, and in doing so can help change lives. They give their time freely and sacrifice for people they’ve likely never met before. Whether it is serving in a hospital or local community, or educating families about the treatment plans regarding loved ones, nurses help make a difference – one life at a time.
Professionalism in Nursing
There are many professions and disciplines in which professionalism is of the utmost importance, and nursing is widely known for its professionalism. Within the field of nursing, there is much value to be placed with the enhancement of professionalism within the profession. Nursing is a profession that relies on practitioners to act in a way that represents the virtuousness of the broader discipline, as all nurses are in a position of responsibility.
Professionalism is imperative in nursing and it is widely known that there is no profession that act with absolute professionalism like nursing. Nurses are people that work within the medical industry, and therefore they see people all of different types, with different medical conditions. There is an inherent need for equality and human dignity, and this is part of the expectation of professionalism that nurses have.
There are lots of expectations that fall upon nurses who seek to be professional in their practice. To begin with, nurses must understand that they are working within a broader profession, and therefore they must act in accordance with professional guidelines that have been set for them. In Ontario, it is expected that all nurses abide by the Standards of Practice for Registered Nurses. Nurses should also ensure that they have the training, experience and skills needed to perform the tasks that they are expected to perform. This includes having an understanding of the theoretical frameworks which have come to shape the discipline over the years. For example, a professional nurse should have an understanding of Jean Watson’s Theory of Care, and the impact that it has had on the development of nursing practice. By having grounding in nursing theory, nurses are better able to make the best decisions in the course of their daily practice, and this contributes to their overall professionalism.
In a nutshell, the most trusted, impactful and life changing profession is nursing. Indeed, nurses are believed to be teacher, advocates, caregivers, critical thinkers, and innovators. Nursing is an honorable profession, and nurses are the heart and soul of healthcare system and the world. From the above contributions mentioned, one can attest to the fact that nursing is beyond a profession; it’s a life dedication.
Name: Bilkisu Ahmed Garba
Phone Number: 08136887751
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