Shadowing a DoctorJanuary 7, 2015
The nursing role has been evolving at an unbelievably rapid pace over the past decade, with nurses today being expected to handle a far wider range of healthcare tasks and responsibilities than ever before. There’s no one reason that can claim responsibility for this phenomenon. Several factors have combined together to cause this dramatic transformation in the healthcare scenario and in nurses’ roles in particular.
The greying of our society and the increasing rates of age-related conditions as well as other modern-living conditions such as obesity and diabetes means healthcare systems everywhere are dealing with a growing number of complex conditions. Add to this healthcare budget cuts and understaffed hospitals and it’s not difficult to see why caring for the sick has definitely gotten more complicated. In hospitals, clinics and care centres around the world, nurses are rising to meet these unique challenges and advanced nursing education is empowering nurses to lead the way.
A Snap Shot Of Today’s Nurses
Nurses today are not just diploma holders who are given minor tasks in caring for the sick in the hospitals. They don’t simply give injections and help bathe and feed patients like their yesteryear peers. Instead, today’s nurses are highly educated professionals and are recognised leaders in the field. Even the coursework in nursing school had undergone a complete transformation. The curriculum does not just focus on teaching nursing students how to perform tasks and procedures. As a nursing student today, in addition to learning how to perform various medical tasks and procedures, you would also be taught how to become a more effective member of specialised health care teams and how to navigate complex clinical systems. Critical thinking, decision making and even policy making are all part of the curriculum in nursing schools everywhere.
The field is expanding rapidly and so are opportunities for advanced nursing professionals including DNP and PhD nurses, nurse practitioners, nurse researchers, nurse anaesthetists and nurse educators. It’s not rare anymore to hear of nurses publishing scientific research, actively addressing health care policies and developing mobile medical applications that help deliver more efficient healthcare to patients.
There are also more opportunities than ever before to pursue challenging medical specialisations from diabetes to pharmacology and to master intricate, multifaceted issues that affect the entire health care system.
Confronting The Challenge Of Growing Healthcare Costs
One of the major challenges in today’s healthcare scenario is how to cut back on the large expenditures for chronic disease patients in hospitals. One proven way is by treating patients before they require a hospital visit. High tech, at-home monitoring programs, where nurses can interact with their patients on live webcasts, are expected to play a larger role in patient care. Because these emerging tools are at the forefront of more cost-efficient care delivery, it isn’t enough for nurses to merely be knowledgeable about their field only. Nurses who are capable of adapting and implementing technology will become more sought-after.
Continued over on part 2