A career in nursing is both a noble and highly gratifying one. In addition to saving lives, nurses show compassion and caring to those who need it the most. They frequently provide protection, security, and comfort to patients. Nursing might be an excellent career choice for individuals if they have a strong desire to serve others.
Primary care nurses are the front-line medical personnel who offer patients primary care services. In addition, they may be required to coordinate with other medical specialists as part of a broader team, diagnose and treat common diseases and injuries, and refer patients to specialists when necessary.
Work environments for primary care nurses include private offices, hospitals, clinics, educational institutions, nursing homes, and more. They must regularly deliver high-quality healthcare to groups of people or individuals, wherever they operate.
This article will go through some of the most typical tasks and processes a registered nurse (RN) or advanced practice registered nurse (APRN) could run across during their career. This information will also provide further motivation for anyone considering a potential career in healthcare.
Conducting patient assessments
To understand more about a patient’s general health, symptoms, and concerns, nurses obtain, filter, and analyze patient health information using evidence-based techniques. Consideration is given to the patient’s biological, psychological, social, and religious values and beliefs.
Assessments determine the patient’s safety. Conducting complete assessments quickly is a critical skill that all nurses should possess in all aspects of nursing practice. The client’s care plan and ongoing health choices are the nurses’ responsibility. This includes identifying critical, emergent, and life-threatening circumstances, and following up as necessary.
Administering prescribed treatments and drugs
The nurses are responsible for checking that the drug given to the patient is on the Medicine Administration Record (MAR) and that the patient does not have a known allergy to it. They check the medication’s expiration date as well. The Medication Administration Record (MAR), often known as an electronic medical record (eMAR), can be found in the patient’s file.
Nurses must watch out for prescription names with similar spellings and appearances, as well as high-alert drugs that have a higher risk of serious patient injury if taken improperly. Nurses should be knowledgeable about how each medication can be taken. The dosage of the drug must also match the recommended amount. The patient’s age and medical condition must be considered when determining the appropriate dosage range, and the prescription must not represent a dangerous dosage level.
Planning and scheduling care for patients
Primary care nurses must use gathered information, personal knowledge, skills, and experience to design patient care schedules and plans. An essential instrument for adhering to the nursing process, a nursing care plan serves as a guide for the treatment of a patient. Knowing how to understand nurse care plans is an essential skill for prospective nursing students and an essential component of every nursing school curriculum.
Plans for patient care assist nurses in attaining several objectives, such as collaboration, compliance, and continuity. The patient’s entire care team may be able to exchange knowledge, contribute ideas, and work together to deliver the best treatment possible with the help of a well-documented care plan.
Care plans help nurses respect the nursing code of ethics and act as evidence of their compliance in the case of litigation or accusations that they did not fulfill care standards. A care plan serves as a means of communication between nurses regarding patient care. When nurses change or exchange shifts, they can refer to the patient’s care plan to make sure that specific care is administered.
Providing emotional and psychological support
When a patient is admitted to the hospital, a nurse is frequently the first person the patient and their family speak with after the receptionist. It is feasible for nurses to help patients emotionally. Although feelings may also be very important in the medical field, nurses shouldn’t ever feel embarrassed or uncomfortable when they observe a patient who is unhappy or sobbing. Nurses must understand patients’ emotions and respond accordingly. There are several ways for nurses to help patients emotionally.
Nursing and healthcare both heavily rely on emotions. As their occupations require them to deal with individuals experiencing loss and other unpleasant situations, nurses frequently endure stress at work. But not all nursing positions are equally demanding.
Nurses inform and instruct those under their care. Patients and families dealing with the difficulty of a life-limiting disease may become more knowledgeable and confident as a result. Education can improve symptom management and quality of life.
Education on a variety of subjects, including disease-specific knowledge, illness trajectories, treatment choices, caring concerns, psychosocial support, discharge planning, and death preparation, may be provided by nurses and nurse practitioners. The diagnosis, prognosis, and available treatments can all be provided by a nurse practitioner as well.
Why are nurses so crucial for providing basic healthcare?
Nurses play a crucial role in ensuring that people remain healthy and receive the proper primary care that is necessary for them to manage different health conditions and treat day-to-day illnesses with as few hospital visits as possible. The demand for nurses has increased drastically over the years and is continuing to increase for various reasons.
Firstly, there has been a constant decline in the nurse workforce due to aging, and many nurses will reach the age of retirement in the next five years. Secondly, there has been a drastic growth in the demand for healthcare services across the globe. This demand was further highlighted during the COVID-19 pandemic and so healthcare organizations have been forced to plan in case a similar situation arises in the future.
Thirdly, only the sickest patients now need to be hospitalized. This has been made possible by technology that enables quick evaluation, treatment, and release for minor ailments as well as a decreasing average wait times. With most long-term patients receiving specialist care, hospitals are becoming resemble big critical care units.
Another major factor is that only a small number of baccalaureate students are enrolled, and the number of new nursing students is declining. Some nursing programs in the US struggle to build the facilities required to accommodate qualified nursing candidates. Around 91,938 suitable undergraduate and graduate nursing students were turned away from schools in 2021, according to the AACN’s report 2021-2022 Enrollment and Graduations in Baccalaureate and Graduate Schools in Nursing. These rejections were due to a lack of clinical education venues, classroom space restrictions, and staff. Lastly, the need for nursing personnel has grown due to a physician shortage. The expected increase in healthcare demand will surpass the increase in the number of physicians available, causing the already existing nurse shortage to worsen.
Demand for nurses
This demand for nurses can only be fulfilled if more people opt to pursue professional education to become certified and licensed nurses. To facilitate the process of getting an advanced degree in the field of nursing, Spring Arbor University has launched a unique online degree program through which aspiring nurses can get both bachelor’s and master’s in nursing degrees from the comfort of their homes. These programs are taught completely online without compromising on the quality of the course, hosted by skilled and experienced professors. This provides a unique opportunity for nursing professionals to pursue further education to help fulfill the demand.
Future job possibilities in the nursing industry are anticipated to be abundant, driven by the need to replace staff who retire, and the rising number of individuals who require access to healthcare services. To attract nursing staff, several institutions in healthcare are providing significant sign-on incentives and competitive compensation for important specializations. A nurse will be in particularly high demand if they can direct interdisciplinary teams, act as educators of patients and managers of care, or show a high degree of proficiency in a specialized unit.