What is a nurse?
Known for their empathy and warmth, nurses are the basic building bricks of the medical teams. From providing direct care to patients, assisting in surgeries to researching in medicine, nurses have a fundamental role in taking care of public health. Apart from the traditional hospital settings, nurses are needed everywhere else too; schools, universities, hospitals, offices, prisons, military bases, agencies, parks, airplanes, etc. Nurses are the backbone of healthcare and Medical Without nurses, the health care system will surely collapse.
What is nursing?
What is the definition of a nurse? Nursing is inherently both an art and a science. It is the art of dealing with patients and their families, educating them about their diagnosis, becoming their confidant, and taking care of all their problems. Nurses have to take on a wide array of roles. They perform physical examinations and take the patient’s history before the doctors see the patients. Often, they are a form of communication between the doctor and patient. What is a nurse?
Nursing is a science where nurses learn about the newly evolving spectra of knowledge through various researches from all around the world. The subject matter of this career is always developing and full of new opportunities.
The different types of nurses
Registered Nurses (RN) give health care to patients. They may do their physical assessment and health record for the doctor. They decide on acute treatment plans for the patient.
With their MS degrees in nursing, Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) are the next level nurses. They prescribe medications, treat injuries, and diagnose illnesses when patients come in.
Licensed Practical Nurses (LPN) assist and usually work under RNs or APRNs. They have simple responsibilities from keeping a check on vital signs of patients to taking care of their nutrition and comfort. They may treat minor injuries and dress wounds.
Degrees in Nursing
There is a wide range of degrees offered in the field of nursing including bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees.
Associate Degree in Nursing (AND) or Associate of Science in Nursing (ASN) can produce RNs or LPNs. These programs usually spread over two to three years of study. Bachelor’s degree in nursing such as BSN (Bachelor of Science in Nursing) gives more advanced training for RNs who want to become advanced practice nurses.
A master’s degree in nursing known as MSN (Masters of Science in Nursing) offers training for advanced nursing responsibilities. Students can become APNs after pursuing this degree. Master’s degree requires approximately one and a half to three years of training.
Doctoral degrees are also offered in nursing. It can either be a Ph.D. (Doctor of Philosophy) or DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice.) Doctoral degrees teach skills in research skills, advanced critical training, and leadership qualities.
Courses in Nursing
Nurses study many courses as part of their training including Pharmacology, Informatics, Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Pathophysiology and others according to the field of specialization.
Diverse fields in Nursing
Nursing is a continually growing career with high demand and relatively low supply. Contrary to the common perception, nursing is a diverse field with many opportunities outside hospitals. Travel nurses, legal nurses, school nurses, forensic nurses, research nurses are just a few examples of the sectors that require professional nurses.
Challenges faced by Nurses
You might ask that is nursing a profession. Like any other profession, nurses face a wide array of issues. Nurses often have to work in long shifts due to understaffing. The risk of infections and germs from patients is prevalent. Nurses must take the appropriate precautions to avoid getting ill while on duty.
Another major issue faced by nurses is workplace bullying. This may be elicited from colleagues and seniors, or patients and their family members. Often, nurses do not get the respect they should get due to their hard work and dedication. Patients can often direct their anger and frustration at the nurses by being rude and violent towards them. Bad-tempered senior doctors can demean the nurses on the smallest of mistakes. Nurses also complain of not getting paid what they deserve from their long hours.
Difference between nurses and doctors
A common analogy used to express the fundamental difference between the two professions is that doctors are the “eyes and brains” while nurses are the “limbs.” Both are interdependent; neither one can do without the other. Without the nurses’ physical exam results and history notes, the doctor cannot make any diagnosis to decide on appropriate treatment plans.
Because nurses take care of the patients’ treatment, medications, comfort, food and all other things they are often the mediators between patients and doctors.
The level of authority exercised by the two also differs. Doctors can make autonomous decisions whereas nurses have to seek their permission first.
Also, doctors go through rigorous years of education as compared to nurses. Moreover, doctors have to specialize in specific areas in order to practice whereas nurses possess diverse experience in many different departments.
Apart from the difference in roles of nurses, another major difference is the discrepancy between the salaries, level of respect, and social status of the two professionals. It is not hard to guess who wins. What is a nurse?
Skills of Nurses
Generally, Nurses not only need to be proficient with medical tools and technology such as stethoscopes, endoscopes, catheters, blood pressure cuffs, suctioning equipment, but also several medical software programs, database software, spreadsheets, etc.
Qualities of Nurses
So Nurses are highly specialized in social communication skills, critical thinking, ability to handle stressful situations. Nurses often have to work for long shifts, so they must have the ability to endure such situations. Nurses form the part of a team so they must be able to work together with others, respect their opinions and collaborate efficiently with others.
Should you pursue nursing as a career?
If you possess the general qualities of a nurse, you will make a good one. However, it is not simply limited to that. You need to be able to thoroughly analyze and interpret complex symptoms and categorize them according to their level of urgency before presenting them to the doctor.
You need to have a high level of patience as nothing is easy and simple in this field. Patients will often frustrate you but you have to maintain a positive attitude. You have to be a good decision-maker, especially in stressful situations. If all of this is you, then you should pursue this profession by all means!
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