Nurses play an integral role in the healthcare system. This is why they have been correctly referred to as the heart of healthcare. Being a nurse is one of the most demanding professions in the world and needs a lot of dedication and commitment to the job.
Nurses have to juggle various roles. A nurse has to act as a caregiver, communicator and a teacher among others. If nurses were to be eliminated from the healthcare system, it would collapse in its tracks.
Most people do not appreciate the real nature of the responsibilities of a nurse. In their eyes, nurses are those who merely administers a shot at the hospital. Others view them as doctors' assistants. Moreover, the media also projects a different image of what they really do. It is worth noting that nurses play various roles concurrently depending on the unique needs of a patient at the time.
These roles include:
- Caregiver: The care afforded depends on the needs and requirements of a patient. Patients are at different stages of illness, thus, some need more attention and care than others. This might include total care which entails doing everything for the patient. The care might also entail helping a patient with the prevention of an illness. Furthermore, nurses have an obligation to care for a patient holistically. Holistic care implies that a whole person is more important than the sum of their parts. This means that care ought to address cultural, spiritual, and mental needs concurrently.
- Decison maker: A nurse is a decision maker for the client and is ought to use his/her critical thinking skills to come up with the most significant outcomes for the patient. Some of these critical thinking skills entail evaluating a patient, recognizing the problem, and implementing interventions that promote the health of a patient. A nurse must always use his judgment to determine what is in the best interest of the patient.
- Communicator: Effective communication in the healthcare system can improve outcomes in the healthcare environment. If the communication is not effective, the healing process will be inhibited. A nurse has the responsibility of devising the best strategies for communicating to the patient as well as family members. Once this is done, the healing process will be expedited.
- Manager of care: Nurses play an integral role in the management of care. The objective of management is to ensure that the care afforded to the patient is cohesive. It is their responsibility to coordinate care provided by the various players to ensure that all the needs of the patient are being met. The various players entail both professionals and non-professionals.
- Patient advocate: This role has been described as the most important of the nursing roles. This role entails protecting the rights of the patient. For instance, when a patient is sick, they are unable to act as they normally would. Thus, it is the responsibility of the nurse to determine what a patient wants.
- Teacher: Nurses must also act as a teacher. Being a teacher to the patient entails assisting patients in gaining knowledge about their health and medications. More often than not, patients will be confused about certain steps and procedures. It is their obligation to set the patient straight in such instances. For those patients who possess an Ehic Card, nursing will be availed to them at a subsidized rate in the European Union. Out of all these roles nurses play there isn't one that is more important than the other. They are all equally important in delivering 100% patient satisfaction.