If you’ve ever considered becoming a nurse because you wanted to make a difference, you won’t be the only one. This is one of the main reasons people choose to be nurses and why they take the time and make an effort to study for a degree in this subject.
Others, though, who haven’t had direct experience with nurses either through knowing a nurse or being a patient or a patient’s relative, may not quite understand just how much of a difference a nurse can really make. Once you do know, it’s entirely possible you decide that nursing is exactly the right career for you, even if you’re currently doing something else.
Nurses are always needed, so the more people who understand what a difference a nurse can make in all kinds of different ways, the better. Read on to find out more about this, and you might decide that you should be a nurse too.
Nurses Teach the Community
Of course, you will probably imagine a hospital setting first when you think about nurses and nursing. This is not an unusual thing to do as many nurses will work in hospitals and make a big difference in patients’ lives. However, this is not the only place that nurses can work, and it’s not the only place where their presence is so important. Public health nurses work outside of hospitals and care for whole communities rather than only those who are able to come to the hospital.
These specialist nurses will make a difference to much larger groups, educating them about their own health and teaching them how to stay safe in many different situations. Public health nurses are the first line of defense when it comes to the nation’s health, and ideally, their good work will prevent many people from having to go to the hospital. Without these nurses out in communities and making a difference, that might not be the case, and hospitals could become full of people who would otherwise, with the right knowledge, have ensured they didn’t have to go there at all.
Public health nurses do more than educate the public. What makes them truly special is that they see what communities need, and they then advocate achieving these goals to the local, state, or federal authorities (depending on what is required). They can make a huge different in terms of the community itself and the health of its residents. Preventative measures are crucial, as they free up space in hospitals, and they give people the knowledge they need to keep themselves safe. Public health nurses often have a lot of nursing experience behind them. They may even have studied for DNP executive leadership online programs to know exactly what is needed.
Nurses Give Quality Care
If someone does have to attend hospital, it is the nurses that make that stay as conformable as possible. Of course, doctors are vital, and they will carry out the diagnoses and work out treatments, but it is the nurse who will carry out that treatment and who will endeavor to make the patient’s hospital stay as comfortable as possible. Imagine going to the hospital and having to stay for a long period of time (or even a short period of time) and finding there was no one there to take care of you in terms of your emotional and mental well-being, not just your physical ailments. It would be a terrible thing to have to go through.
Being in a hospital is never a pleasant experience; you are there because you are injured or sick. Having wonderful nurses there to help make the situation better where possible isn’t only a nice thing to have, but it can, studies suggest, make the healing process faster. When you are in a more positive frame of mind and understand what is going on around you, your mind can be more restful, and this will then help your body to concentrate on healing, rather than becoming stressed or anxious about everything else.
By enabling patients to heal more quickly, patient outcomes will be improved, and beds will be vacated more quickly, allowing additional patients to be seen as soon as possible. Nurses make this difference.
Nurses Act as Patient Advocates
We’ve seen how nurses can be advocates for their communities, but they can also be advocates for their individual patients on a smaller scale. There are three main ways this can be done. The first is in preserving human dignity. No matter what the reason for them being in the hospital might be, everyone deserves dignity and respect. Nurses can ensure this happens; they will make sure that any religious, ethnic, or cultural beliefs are taken into account, for example. They will also be aware of privacy issues and act on them where necessary.
Patients must also be treated equally, and again this is an area in which nurses can make a big difference. Nurses have the special ability to help everyone and communicate with everyone, whatever their background happens to be. This means that all patients are treated the same, and they all have the same chance of healing more quickly.
Nurses also advocate for patients by ensuring they are as free from suffering as they can be. By managing or even preventing pain – mental, emotional, and physical – the biggest differences can be made to the patients they are treating.
Nurses Provide Emotional Support
Fear, anxiety, and stress can all be side effects of being admitted into a hospital. Assuming that the physical pain is being dealt with, those other issues, if left to fester, could become extremely harmful to anyone and everyone who has to deal with them.
A compassionate nurse who is able to gauge the situation and reassure the patient using humor, empathy, and simply the ability and willingness to lend a shoulder to cry or on an ear to listen with can be enough to give that patient the right emotional support they need.
Nurses Change Lives
Positive experiences stay with you for a long time. They are something you can reach back to, to remind you of happy times and those special moments that made a difference in your life. Nurses will often feature in these memories, even if the overall story is a sad one of loss or pain.
A good nurse can change lives in many different ways. They might do such a good job that a patient heals more quickly. They might impress someone so much that a person then goes on to become a nurse themselves. They might make a patient’s last days more comfortable, ensuring their family was able to say goodbye in peace.
Being a nurse is often considered a calling, and it’s not an easy job. Yet there are few jobs that can make such a difference in everyone’s life.