Nursing is a medical profession that involves continuously taking care of the sick, injured, disabled and patients in a severe condition. Nurses also assume the role of promoting healthy activities in individuals, families and communities. Nursing professionals are actively involved in health care, nursing research, management, formation of policies and decision making as well. Nurses specialise in providing support and nursing care to the patient. The role of nurses in the medical field is essentially important because these individuals are responsible for the daily day to day activities of the hospital or clinic.
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Nurses work independently and also in collaboration with senior physicians, doctors and surgeons to treat the patient effectively. In many countries, the role of nurses is generally associated with women and men remain significantly underrepresented.
Florence Nightingale is often associated with originating the concept of professional nursing after she defied the social conventions to become a nurse. Florence believed that educated women can provide effective medical treatment to patients and can take better care of sick individuals using scientific principles. In the 18th century, when the role of women was restricted, Florence advocated social freedom for women.
Types of Nurses
The field of nursing is diverse because of the many needs. The different types of nurses include:
1. Registered Nurse
Registered Nurse or better known as RNs are the most common type of nurses. These nurses are the first medical professional a patient comes in contact with. It is the duty of an RN to educate the patient about the medication, treatment plans, and other essential information that is vital to the patient’s health and recovery. All registered nurses obtain similar training and have similar qualification, but they can also opt for specialization such as psychiatric care, infection control etc. Every RN is familiar with the assessment, diagnosis, planning, implementation and evaluation of different patients.
An LPN or Licensed Practical Nurse performs similar medical duties to that of a registered nurse but works under the supervision of a Registered nurse or doctor. LPN deal with the immediate care of the patient and are the ones who perform the treatment of wounds, administering medication and taking vitals. LPN gain a lot of hands-on experience under the guidance of a doctor or RN which is beneficial for them in their career ahead and prepares them for promotion into those roles.
A clinical nurse specialist is a highly trained and educated subdivision of nurses, who specialize in a particular field of medicine or treatment. CNSs are usually appointed in Intensive Care units and emergency rooms for specific diseases such as diabetes, cancer, trauma among others. A clinical nurse specialist is a highly coveted and respected role among nurses and requires nurses to go through rigorous practice and nursing courses. A clinical nurse specialist is implemented as experts in a particular area of expertise.
A Certified nursing assistant is responsible for helping RNs and LPNs in their daily routine and tasks of the hospital. The role of a CNA is similar to that of an LPN but a nursing assistant can’t suggest medication to a patient. CNAs are involved with the patients daily activities. They keenly observe the patient and often provide the link between the patients and professional healthcare. These nurses are necessary for the smooth and effective functioning of hospitals.
The role of a nurse practitioner is similar to that of a Clinical nurse specialist. They also specialize in a particular field of medicine but even then the scope of their practice is extremely wide. The reason that the demand and aspirants of nurse practitioners are growing is because of the authority that nurse practitioners command. They have the authority to suggest medication and treatment plans independently giving them complete authority over the healthcare of the patient. The standards to become a Nurse practitioner are very high due to the responsibility of the role.
6. Nurse Care Managers
A nurse care manager is primarily responsible for the long-term treatment and care of the patient. These nurses often have to deal with patients suffering from a chronic or long-term illness such as diabetes or cancer. Care managers need to complete the nursing courses where they are taught a wide field of knowledge, as the role is often demanding because it involves providing nursing care, nursing management and are in charge of guiding and monitoring the patient through the treatment process.
The demand for nurses remains high due to their roles as important healthcare provider. Various nursing councils regularly come up with improvements in the functioning of nurses to provide better nursing care. The nursing council is also responsible for improving nursing management systems.