Healthcare is, without a doubt, one of the single most important factors of any society. If you become unwell, whether through illness or injury, then you are very likely going to have to interact with medical care professionals in one form or another. Because this is one service that is almost constantly needed, it is also an area of work that is in perpetual demand for those intelligent and compassionate individuals who are suited to working in the field. Doctors, nurses, and other healthcare professionals are some of the most irreplaceable workers in any society and are always needed to help provide high-quality and dependable care throughout the healthcare system. The backbone of this system is its nurses, meaning it is vital that any person interested in becoming a nurse should know what the process entails. This article aims to give an insight into what nurses do, what kinds of nurses there are, and how to go about becoming a nurse, as well as other relevant information.
What Do Nurses Do?
Nurses are, more often than not, the constant in a patient’s experience with healthcare. They are the glue that holds the processes together and will almost always be involved in any interaction that a patient has with medical care. They are known for their compassion, wit, and ability—working tirelessly to provide whatever care their patients need and to assist doctors in their life-saving work.
Simply put, nurses care for their patients and ensure that they receive the best treatment possible for their ailment. There are many kinds of nurse and many different ways that nurses go about dealing with patients, but at the simplest level, nurses provide care to those who need it. A service for which they should be applauded.
What Kinds of Nurses Are There?
There are many different specialties in nursing, each of which is vitally important for a different area of medicine. These varieties of nursing specialties encompass a range of skills and responsibilities required of the nurse, all dependent on what aspect of healthcare they are intended to assist with. Below are brief overviews of a handful of different nursing specialties:
Registered Nurse: Nurses in this specialty provide and plan care for the patients, as well as providing any necessary information and advice to patients and the general public.
Cardiac Nurse: One of the most in-demand specialties, cardiac nurses assist in the care of patients with heart-related problems and also support doctors with cardiac surgical procedures.
Critical Care Nurse: These specialists are specifically trained for emergency situations and are able to tend to serious wounds and monitor life support systems in high-stress environments.
ER Nurse: Nurses in this specialty tend to assist in the stabilization of patients and the subsequent review of the patient’s medical charts in order to determine proper medication. Additionally, these nurses tend to basic injuries and illnesses.
This is just a snapshot of the kinds of nurse specialties. There are many more areas in which nurses specialize, just as there are many ways in which a patient may need care.
The Nursing Process
Across these various specialties, nurses still adhere to a core principle in the delivery of their care. This is referred to as “The Nursing Process” and is a five-step process that serves as a guide for nurses to provide the best treatment to their patients. The steps of the process are as follows:
Assessment: The nurse must carefully, diligently, and analytically collect data from the patient and, using this data, make an assessment about the health of the patient. This includes both their mental and physical health and should be informed by the patient’s lifestyle and physiological data.
Diagnosis: The next step is for the nurse to make a decision, using their clinical judgement, about the patient’s medical conditions and/or needs. This diagnosis then serves as the basis for the patient’s care.
Outcomes/Planning: Using the diagnosis, and their knowledge of the patient’s lifestyle, the nurse will then work with the patient to set distinct and measurable goals for the patient to help with their recovery. This planning, along with information from the previous steps, is carefully noted down in a care plan for the patient.
Implementation: The care plan for the patient is then used as a guide for implementing care for the patient, in whatever form such care might take.
Evaluation: The status of the patient, along with the quality of the care provided by the nurse, are constantly monitored and, using this information, modifications are made to the care plan when necessary.
How to Become a Nurse
If the idea of providing care to those in need and generally making the world a better place appeals to you, then you might want to consider becoming a nurse, especially if an average pay of $75,330 per year sounds good to you. There is a lot of schooling and training that goes into becoming a nurse (although less than to become a doctor), which means it is best to start as soon as you make the decision to become a nurse. If you want to get to work as quickly as possible then you’ll want to go with one of the accelerated BSN nursing programs available online, which will get you working in the medical field quickly and with as little hassle as possible.
Why Are Nurses So Important?
Nurses make up the core of the healthcare system, every patient will have interactions with nurses, and without them the system would be rendered completely useless. As was described above, nurses deal with every aspect of care in a medical system and are vital to its smooth operation. While every role within the healthcare system is invaluably important, nurses bear the weight of the entire system, which is why they are so incredibly important. The number of patients that nurses tend to and treat simply could not be achieved without them, and this is also why a constant inflow of new nurses is incredibly important in the healthcare system. These new nurses are instrumental to the continued operation of the systems in which they work, and their positions are in constant and unwavering demand.
If this article has left you inspired to enter a career in nursing then use the information to help you decide on the specific path you want to take.