In the past, nurses played a secondary role in healthcare. They were there to take care of patients and follow doctor’s orders. Today, though, that role has changed. With the introduction of a range of different advanced nurse positions, nurses are now taking charge of patients care. Here’s a look at the different roles nurses now play in healthcare.
Nurses usually play a huge role in coordinating the care of patients. They may be the only person on a team that is consistently working with a patient. They may schedule different appointments with doctors and specialist while also managing the general care of the patient. It often falls to nurses to schedule tests. They become the case manager who ensures the patient is receiving the proper care and everything is being done as ordered by doctors.
For advanced practice nurses, the duties are expanded even more. These nurses are able to offer care just like doctors. They may see patients, administer and prescribe medications, treat illnesses, and order tests. They become the main caregiver of a patient and only consult with a doctor when needed. In some cases, as you can read more about, they even are able to offer home care.
Advanced practice nurses usually work under a doctor, but they work independently treating patients. There are many different types of nurses that fall into this category. They include nurse anesthetists, nurse midwives, and clinical nurse specialists. It is important to note that advanced practice nurses do require more education than a general registered nurse. They would need to complete a graduation education, like that offered by the University of Cincinatti.
Nurses usually have the ability to spend more time with patients than doctors do. This means that it usually falls to the nurse to offer education to patients. They are able to educate the patient on their condition, including explaining what it is and how it will be treated. They can answer questions about the future and enable patients to express their concerns. Nurses ensure that patients also get follow-up care and are directed to any resources that can help them.
What They Don’t Do
It is important to note that as the role of nurses has moved into a zone where they are responsible more for patient care that some of the old tasks they used to do are no longer on their job duty list. For example, nurses don’t often handle things like bathing patients, cleaning up messes, or getting things for patients. Instead, lower level nurses or even nurse aides handle these tasks. This helps free up nurses so they can offer more of their time to patients handling their actual care.
The role of nurses has changed a lot in the recent past. They are no longer just friendly faces who will bring you a magazine if you get bored. Nurses are now taking a more formal role in patient care, many offering services just like a doctor. They now are in charge of coordinating and administering care, along with offering education to patients. Nurses are filling in where doctors leave off to ensure patients are getting the most comprehensive care possible.