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The Many Reasons Why Nursing is of Great Importance
Nurses are the lifeblood of medical institutions
Photo courtesy: Павел Сорокин from Pexels
(SALEM, Ore.) - Nursing is one of the most vital services in American society, due to how these professionals are working tirelessly to help others and provide medical care.
Nurses can be found in virtually every single sector of the health industry, making nursing one of the most versatile careers an individual can pursue.
It’s an extremely rewarding job, as nurses can find themselves responsible for a patient’s recovery and it is a role best suited to those who want to help and provide care, however it’s an extremely difficult role to get into.
This is because there are many courses and nurse practitioner programs prospective nurses have to go through before they can even think about getting licensed.
There are also specific skills individuals need to have to become nurses, and some are skills that not everyone possesses, like resilience, compassion, patience, and problem solving, making nursing and nurses a very special and important section of the population.
It’s far too often that nurses and those who completed nurse practitioner programs are overlooked and undermined within the medical industry as many would consider doctors and surgeons superior.
The truth is, without nurses completing their duties in assisting in operations, administering medicine, and the plethora of other duties, these doctors wouldn’t be able to perform their roles as effectively as they do and that is why nursing is extremely important in medical care.
TYPES OF NURSES
There are so many different types of specialties and sectors a nurse can go into, so much so that it’s almost impossible to list them all.
Furthermore, the nursing field is evolving, with many more specialties starting to come into the forefront thanks to a shift in social attitudes, namely how more people are taking a greater interest in their mental health and well-being, increasing demand for psychiatric nurses.
To become a nurse that is specialized in a particular field, a student is going to have to pass nurse practitioner programs and gain certifications in their desired field. With that in mind, here are some of the most common and fastest rising roles and why they’re becoming so important.
- Registered Nurse (RN)
A registered nurse can be considered a general nurse and performs duties such as providing and coordinating patient care, educating patients and the public about health conditions and the best form of after care, as well as providing emotional support and advice to patients and family members. A registered nurse works within a team of physicians and can work in a variety of settings.
As these nurses only need either an associate’s or bachelor’s degree depending on what area they desire to go into, RN nurses can start working in their field much sooner than others who may be doing nurse practitioner programs. This role has a base salary of $60,300 and the rate of job growth is expected to continue to be high, making it a really secure role to get into, while also offering avenues for progression.
- Cardiac Nurse
This type of nurse is extremely important in the United States as one of the leading causes of deaths in the country is heart disease. Due to this, there’s an increased demand for these types of nurses as more people are experiencing heart problems. A cardiac nurse will assist with a whole host of surgical procedures such as a bypass, angioplasty, or pacemaker surgery.
This role can be performed in hospital environments, but also in rehab centers and also has options to provide in-home care. The average rate for this role is $67,500, and with a 16% forecast increase in job growth, it’s a very stable option.
- Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist (CRNA)
A CRNA is a nurse who is highly trained in assisting with applying anesthesia during surgeries.
This may not seem like an important role, but due to the high volume of surgeries in the U.S. on an annual basis, especially if you consider not just medical surgeries but also atheistic ones too, it’s a role that’s in demand. There is a lot of detailed knowledge these types of nurses need, which is why they’re one of the best paid nurses out there, raking in an average salary of $153,800 a year.
To become one, you must get a master’s degree from a number of nurse practitioner programs, a license, as well as one-year practical experience. These roles are vital in helping patients manage their pain before, during and after surgeries and therefore these nurses need to be especially compassionate.
- Critical Care Nurse
Critical care nurses are similar to RNs, however, what sets them apart is that these nurses are specifically trained for emergency situations.
This means that these nurses operate in high pressure situations and can be found saving lives as they tend to serious wounds and monitor life support systems. These are vital roles that are in huge demand as without these nurses, plainly put, a lot more people won’t get the adequate care and could be put at a much higher risk of dying.
This is also perhaps one of the most rewarding nursing jobs, as these people can help individuals emerge from traumatic events.
- Nurse Practitioner (NP)
To become a nurse practitioner, one first needs to get through tough nurse practitioner programs to gain the appropriate experience. These nurses serve as primary and specialty care providers and deliver advanced nursing services to patients and their families.
These nurses can also perform physical examinations, order testing, and even prescribe medications. Due to this extra responsibility, they earn a pretty nice salary, with the average being $103,900, but with an expected job growth rate of 31% there’s potential for it to become even more lucrative.
- Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP)
A family nurse is one that’s trained to primarily care for individuals of all ages, but they usually find themselves helping children and young people.
The duties of a FNP include diagnosing and treating illnesses, providing physical examinations, and prescribing medication. It’s a tough role to get into as it requires a master’s degree but is one that’s really worth it for individuals who desire to provide a more in-depth and comprehensive kind of care for patients of all ages.
- Geriatric Nursing
A geriatric nurse is one that specializes in the treatment of older patients and can provide care for injuries or ailments, illnesses as well as helping these people maintain their quality of life as their bodies begin to naturally deteriorate.
This is an important role as it helps the older community, which is one of the biggest demographics in America right now. It’s also a role that’s really helpful in anticipating, treating, and even preventing Alzheimer’s, dementia and cancer.
- Mental Health Nurse
Mental health is becoming a pressing issue within American culture, and because of that there is increased demand for psychiatric nurses and therapists, creating an estimated job growth rate of around 31%, making it a really stable and secure role.
These nurses will be specialized in diagnosing and treating psychological disorders in patients while also providing counselling services, which is an essential duty.
Providing mental health services is different to other types of care as it’s not entirely physical, meaning you need a good level of compassion and patience to succeed, which can be taught during nurse practitioner programs.
Another reason why nursing is so important and should be held in a higher regard, is because of the vast number of roles and responsibilities even a standard RN has.
To fulfill these roles, nurses have to be incredibly well rounded and have an extremely diverse skill set, not to mention good adaptability as they will often find themselves alternating these duties on a daily basis, meaning that no day is ever the same for a nurse.
Here are some of the common nursing duties. Each one is extremely important and vital for the smooth running of medical services.
- Assessing and planning care requirements
Perhaps due to popular culture and television, a lot of people may be under the impression that nurses have no agency and instead just take orders from a doctor.
Although doctors do have some form of hierarchical superiority, nurses are actually far more active in assessing a patient’s requirements of their recovery, as well planning on how to deliver the desired outcomes. Usually in a practice there’s a chief nurse who would have passed one of many nurse practitioner programs who would plan schedules and allocate roles to the best staff.
- Providing pre- and post-operative care
These nurses are responsible for the care a patient receives once their operation is complete. It’s their duty to ensure that patients are comfortable and well looked after, while also providing essential rehab and care, such as applying dressings and bandages, administrating medicines, and even delivering painkillers.
A nurse will also have to monitor patients and check their vitals to ensure that they’re healthy and are recovering as expected. This means that they’ll have to take blood samples, check pulses, and even record temperatures and blood pressure while relaying this information to the doctor.
This means that nurses need to have fantastic communication skills, which is something many students learn while completing nurse practitioner programs. There’s also a lot of admin that needs to be taken care of when working as a nurse, as everything that’s done to a patient needs to be recorded.
- Providing emotional support
A common duty that falls upon nurses is one that many may not have signed up for but is one that is increasingly important. Nurses are usually working alongside individuals and patients who are going through a lot of trauma and perhaps enduring a lot of pain.
This means that emotions may be high, and people might be more sensitive, so for a lot of nurses, they act like agony aunts and uncles while they provide emotional support and encouragement to people who are suffering a lot. This means that nurses need to have a human touch and can’t be clinical and cold all the time. Being warm, calm and a good listener are vital skills for a nurse as these attributes not only help them with the practical side of things, but it also aids them when providing this type of support to distraught patients and relatives.
- Tutoring student nurses
Another duty that nurses have to contest with is being responsible for aiding and teaching student nurses who are learning and helping out during their clinical experiences in their bachelor or nurse practitioner programs. As you can expect, teaching a student nurse on what to do while trying to perform your vital role can be pretty challenging, meaning that nurses need to be highly resilient and not get flustered.
BENEFITS TO SOCIETY
It’s all well and good knowing that nurses are important within their practices, but what is it about nurses that makes them important for American society going forward. Well, one main reason why nursing may be more important than you think is because of the country’s aging population.
The nation’s average age is increasing, meaning that a higher percentage of the population is entering an age range where they’re more at risk of illness, and other issues that may hospitalize them. It’s for this reason that nurses are actually in high demand, as more people and more people will need to be looked after, especially within nursing homes.
Another reason why nursing is so important to society is because more people now have access to cheaper medical care thanks to more affordable health insurance. This is another reason why there’s a higher demand for nurses, as there’s more people around who can afford advanced medical care.
Furthermore, perhaps the most pressing reason why nurses are so important, is because they’re also patient advocates, meaning that they’re in your corner trying to get you the best care possible.
They’re with you a lot of the time, fighting to ensure that you get the right care and treatment while also making your trip to hospital easier to manage and less of a hassle. Due to this connection to the patients, it’s no surprise that nurses have topped the annual Gallup poll of the most trusted professionals for over two decades.
Nurses are the lifeblood of medical institutions, the worker ants making it all run smoothly and because of that, nursing is perhaps the most important role in the entire medical field.
Source: Salem-News.com Special Features Dept.
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