Over the course of 2020, people have found a renewed appreciation for nurses. Working alongside doctors and frontline healthcare workers, nurses have the most amount of contact with patients. Whether patients are seeing a specialist for routine treatment or they’re being admitted to the hospital for a serious condition or surgery, a nurse is likely to be the team member who provides the most direct attention to a patient and plays the strongest role in shaping the patient’s experience. It’s imperative that hospitals hire and retain outstanding nurses. Staffing this role strategically has numerous advantages for both hospitals and their patients.
Not just anyone can take on the position of a nurse and make a strong contribution. While there are some task-oriented aspects of the position, it also requires a lot of on-the-spot decision making and well-informed judgment calls. Nurses need to be able to react quickly and decisively when something goes wrong. When hospitals hire good nurses, they lessen the chances of accidents or oversights. In this sense, an experienced nurse will support doctors in creating a safe environment and providing a high caliber of care.
Nurses tend to offer patients more personal support than doctors simply because they spend more time with them. In the course of their interactions, a patient will perceive a nurses’ attention as being a great source of comfort. Being hospitalized is an extremely stress-inducing experience for most individuals. Unfortunately, stress can compound or exacerbate the effects of a medical event and even stand as a barrier to recovery. The toxic effect of stress and the hormones associated with stress on the body are cause for significant concern to medical professionals. Anything that they can do to alleviate stress can have a significant impact on a patient’s ability to recoup; nurses help in this regard by fostering positive in-patient interactions. Instead of feeling overwhelmed by a sense of powerlessness, patients will feel reassured and well cared for when an outstanding nurse is offering help. In some situations, people will feel isolated when they’re in the hospital. For example, in 2020, people being treated for COVID-19 have been literally isolated. Unable to receive visitors, nurses have been many patients’ foremost source of human connection. The level of care administered by these nurses is truly awe-inspiring. Many patients who recovered from extremely difficult situations such as being on a ventilator credit the unwavering support offered by nurses and other providers as being like an anchor. Ultimately, the personalized attention offered by nurses supports a culture of caring. It lets them know that a hospital takes their health seriously and sees them as an individual, not just someone receiving medical services.
Doctors tend to have rather full patient rosters. The average workday can put rather strenuous demands on even the most skilled and hardworking doctors. Their schedules are characterized by long working hours and a large volume of patients to see within a tight timeframe. Nurses help doctors stay organized. They will often be a patients’ first point of contact when they see a specialist in a hospital setting. In addition to getting basic information about vital signs and medications, a nurse will generally find out about a patient’s specific concerns or questions to address with the doctor. In effect, a nurse will collect all of the most pertinent information that a doctor needs to get oriented to what’s happening with a patient. Nurses will collaborate with doctors in creating records of a visit as well as forming treatment plans. In addition, a nurse is likely to be most involved in providing a patient with instructions for care after an appointment or hospitalization. They will help with follow-up appointments, referrals to other providers such as physical therapists, and discharge instructions that cover what a patient needs to do to promote his or her recovery at home.
Receiving excellent care from a nurse helps patients make the most of their experience when they see a provider who works out of a hospital or when they’re treated as an in-patient. There will always be a strong demand for nurses who work with methodical attention to detail while also giving patients a high level of personal care.