The nursing profession has never been more well respected than it is today and nurses have no intention of going back to the old ways. The formidable presence of nurses serves a desperate need. From nursing assistant providing basic care, to RN’s specialized in areas of medicine, to nurse-educators, to nurse practitioners, nurses aren’t just in demand as a vital resource in medicine, they are a leading voice in healthcare across the country.
Recent changes in healthcare in this country have ensured millions of previously underserved and uninsurable individuals were offered an opportunity for medical care. Nurses in the US rose to the challenge, further educating themselves in order to bring quality healthcare to individuals in rural areas, impoverished urban areas, and those whose pre-existing conditions prevented them from being treated.
Not only have these caregivers gone above and beyond to aid in affording healthcare for all, they have helped draft legislation that benefits public health, led the outcry for research to improve the way the healthcare system treats those with dementia, cancer, HIV, and pressed for advances in mental health as well. Nurses are not going back to a healthcare system that discounts the advances made in medicine and the way patients are treated by the medical community in general.
One of the more significant ways nursing has improved the quality of patient care in this country is through the acceptance of the nurse practitioner as authority. In many areas of the country, especially those in which physicians are in scarce supply, the nurse practitioner is doctorally prepared to go a step further in patient-centered care by diagnosing and treating those individuals in need. Educating nurses to take the lead in healthcare communities is revolutionizing patient care in this country and nurses are not going back.
Why Going Back to The Old Ways is Not an Option
Though not readily recognized, nurses have always led the way in patient care. Unlike many medical dramas on TV, most physicians carry a caseload that prevents them from having long meaningful conversations with each and every admission under their care, delving into the home life of the patient as it pertains to their continued convalescence, and reaching out periodically to check in once the patient is released from the hospital or clinic.
Nurses, on the other hand, have long been the go-to for imparting information, discussing patient care with those caregivers in the household (within the boundaries of HIPAA, of course) and developing the type of relationship with the patient that allows them to get a glimpse beyond diagnoses and treatment. Nurses are the backbone of healthcare and have finally been given their due. Nurses are not going back to working in the shadows. They are front and center and using their voices to the benefit of their patients.
As the demand for quality medicine increases, nurses can’t entertain going back to the old ways of ritual healthcare. In many ways the evidence supports a more pronounced presence of nurses as a positive move in healthcare. It keeps costs a bit lower, but more than that, a larger presence for nurses means a beneficial outcome for more patients across the country.
The Future of Healthcare
The future of healthcare is a bit uncertain in the US. An aging population will place bigger demands on medical facilities and nurses are sure to be the ones who will meet the needs of the community. Obviously, going back isn’t a viable option. Medicine is moving forward, research is moving forward, and as nursing education moves forward it becomes more specialized, diversified, and patient centered than ever.
Because nurses are the biggest advocates for patient care, there shouldn’t be too much concern about going back to the former style of healthcare in the US. Nurses will continue to be the voice for their patients, encourage research and exhibit a positive influence for the advancement of equality in healthcare.