Healthcare is the single-biggest industry in first-world economies, comprising anywhere from 12% to 20% of total economic output each year.
Independent of that, access to vital healthcare services is fundamental to healthy, long lives – some people are lucky with regards to their overall health, while others face a litany of issues.
Ultimately, taking care of your day-to-day health and medical concerns is fundamental. Without vital access to these services, millions of people would suffer and ultimately fail to achieve their true potential in life.
As such, the healthcare sector requires a large number of front-line employees dedicated to providing essential treatment to patients – whether it be direct medical intervention or supplemental emotional support.
Nurses are arguably the single-biggest group of healthcare workers who help patients day-to-day and provide a plethora of services many of us take for granted.
To illustrate their fundamental role in healthcare, let’s look at how nurses improve the lives of patients on a daily basis.
#1. Nurses Help Patients with Routine Tasks
Arguably the single-biggest presence for nurses in day to day medical practices is their focus on improving patient outcomes. Whether you are visiting a hospital or primary health care provider, nurses can be found anywhere and everywhere.
These healthcare professionals ensure that vitals are monitored, feeding and hydration regimens are maintained, and that any care around-the-clock is provided when necessary.
Nurses can inhabit a wide variety of medical roles. From primary care physicians who need supplemental support to intensive care units where nurses consistently monitor the outcomes of surgeries and medical procedures, nurses have a vested interest in maximizing patient care quality and overall success.
Some of the common tasks that nurses provide include drawing blood for vital tests and procedures, providing assistance to doctors and surgeons whenever surgical procedures are required, and ensuring that clean, sterile conditions are maintained (this is especially crucial during times such as now when pandemic conditions are universal).
Ultimately, nurses do almost everything that doctors and surgeons do not, making them one of the most vital healthcare forces present in every medical situation.
#2. Nurses Manage Office and Care Routines
Many nurses focus exclusively on how best to manage local physician offices and healthcare establishments – usually these individuals have prior comprehensive experience with front-line care.
As nurses come in a variety of specialties and educational backgrounds, those with the greatest understanding of comprehensive care tend to be responsible for ensuring maximum productivity within healthcare-related establishments.
Many nurses follow traditional or online DNP courses to achieve a level of professional reputation necessary to maintain consistent and optimal office performance.
While these nurses may not be seen directly in day-to-day tasks by patients, their efficiency through online DNP or traditional DNP educational programs ensures that each patient is seen and heard in the ways that they should be.
For existing nurses seeking to manage patient outcomes in a leadership role, online DNP courses via an accredited university or college is the best course of action.
Experienced nurses wishing to advance their education, responsibility levels and influence on improving patient outcomes often pursue this course.
In essence, a traditional or online DNP degree allows nurses to take an administrative role in doctor’s offices, hospitals and other medical settings, ensuring they can maximize positive patient outcomes.
#3. Nurses Support Families
The emotional influence that nurses have on patients and in healthcare settings is often overlooked – but it is a crucial part of the profession.
Whenever an individual becomes ill, it is not just the patient who suffers; the family is impacted as well. Whether it be emotional, mental or physical, many people can be impacted by the health conditions of family members or loved ones.
Nurses often provide front-line assistance and emotional support to patients’ loved ones. Additionally, nurses aren’t just present in healthcare settings to provide clinical, generic care to patients.
They also make sure that their personal needs are met. A major component of nursing is how nurses can provide emotional support to patients. Given that a major component of overall healthcare outcomes is tied to the emotional and mental wellbeing of a patient, nurses are obligated to provide this form of assistance whenever possible.
#4. Nurses Provide Home Health Care
The need of patients for continued healthcare and monitoring doesn’t necessarily end when they leave the doctor’s office or hospital. Many patients require care on an extended or continuing basis.
Given that traditional forms of healthcare monitoring and assistance via hospitals and doctor’s offices are often expensive (both financially and emotionally), providing assistance in the home when needed is a valuable alternative.
Nurses are often the providers of care in home health care settings. Many doctors, specialists and hospitals have embraced the concept of home health care as a valuable commodity.
By keeping patients in the home while reducing costs to them, a more intimate and meaningful form of care can be provided.
As such, nurses often make house calls to patients following surgery or other healthcare-related changes to ensure that these individuals have the support and resources they need without having to constantly visit medical facilities.
#5. Nurses Provide Emotional and Mental Support
The pain of a major surgery or illness can be devastating for a patient and their loved ones. While nurses are predominantly trained to assist with direct medical and physical healthcare-related procedures, nurses are also a lifeline for patients and their families who are experiencing dramatic shifts in quality of life.
Dealing with the burden of an illness physical or otherwise can take its toll on a patient and their family. Nurses are trained and equipped to be an emotional lighthouse of sorts for people; by being a steady beacon upon which patients and loved ones can rely, they ensure the best outcomes possible in potentially otherwise negative situations.
Select nurses are also trained to recognize behavioral or emotional changes in patients following a diagnosis, treatment or surgery.
By being trained to observe these situations, nurses are often the harbingers of additional support and treatment in situations where it is absolutely required. Nurses exist to provide basic care in healthcare settings – but they also do so much more.
Their presence is an absolute necessity in ensuring that patients are able to handle the factors related to health conditions, surgeries and other critical components associated with getting well and getting better.