Nurses and “culture of care”–laudable
Posted on March 2nd, 2011

By Philip Fernando, Former Deputy Editor Sunday Observer Sri Lanka

Nurses have become indispensable in creating a ‘culture of care.’ With spiralling costs, heavy reliance on technology adding to overheads and the shortage of doctors, nurses are a vital link in physician-led healthcare. Nurses are going beyond their usual two-year associate and four-year baccalaureate programs beginning to serve as anesthesiologists under supervision by doctors. Many are given incentives to do post-graduate clinical training here in the US. The term nurse practioner is now becoming commonly used. These specialized nurses are able to diagnose and do the initial work when admitting patients.

Aftercare in homes are now regularly done quite well by nursing staff with the help of volunteers in many Western countries to look after patients released from intensive care.

ƒÆ’-¡ Due to the currently bulging senior patient population and their attendant complex medical problems in most parts of the world, health care systems have to rely on division of labour to a great degree.

ƒÆ’-¡ The need to maximize the contribution of every member of the health care system is critically felt today. Due to the sheer volume of patients in the system, the diverse responsibilities have to be shared between the doctors, nursing staff, technicians and auxiliary service employees.

Keeping objectives in mind

Today health care administers are more aligned to keep the overall goals of quality care in mind at all times instead of being immersed checking insurance claims, billing and the like. Nurses have become a major source of support. According to the Transitional Care Model program at Pennsylvania University, for example, getting everyone to fit in to the overall caring is becoming routine.

ƒÆ’-¡ Nurses currently form the largest sector of health care providers in the US. It is so almost everywhere. The role of nurses had become a topic of study during the past two years following the shortfall anticipated in many areas – especially the lack of doctors.

ƒÆ’-¡ A holistic approach is becoming established according to a report by a national panel of experts titled ‘The Future of Nursing: Leading Change, Advancing Health.’ It offers several recommendations, including what amounts to a rebuke of the current piecemeal education of nurses. The American Academy of Nursing has welcomed the approach.

Innovative nursing led-services

Part of that blueprint includes innovative nursing-led services like the Transitional Care Model program at Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where nurses are assigned to elderly hospitalized patients deemed to be at high risk for relapse.

ƒÆ’-¡ For up to three months after discharge, the nurses make home visits, accompany the patients to doctors’ offices and collaborate with the primary care physician and family caregivers. In early trials, the program has significantly decreased hospital readmissions and costs by as much as $ 5,000 per patient.

ƒÆ’-¡ The trend now is for nurses to revamp the way they are educated, citing the decades-long struggle within the profession to define what exactly a nurse is. It is no longer an adjunct to something remotely connected to health-care but an ongoing participation to serve the patients.

ƒÆ’-¡ The goal of having a reasonable nurse-to-patient ratio is sought through out the world. California is implementing legislation passed in 1999 that mandated a ratio of one nurse to every five patients on general medical floors. That is a goal worth striving for.

2 Responses to “Nurses and “culture of care”–laudable”

  1. devamitta Says:

    here to they are wonderfull; they have a special gift to keep their dress clean and lookingas if it just has been ironed! also they know very well to bark at patients who need their attention.

  2. Susantha Wijesinghe Says:

    The Health Care Industry, is the largest ever growing industry in the world. It is constantly looking for human resources, to fill vacancies, and there is always a shortfall. In USA, the Nursing staff is paid very well. They have a very broad spectrum scope of enhancing their professional career, through technological advancement. The doors should be open to Sri Lankan Nurses, to diversify into various fields in Health Care. There should be Scholarships, to those who look forward for career advancement. This morning I visited the Cardiology Centre for my routine check up. I was called in by the Doctor’s Nurse, and was taken for an ultra sound. The whole process was very intricate to me, and I watched my heart beat live on the Computer. The nurse was recording pertinent data on the computer, and subsequently she typed the Report for the Doctors attention. I casually asked her where she learnt to work on such a machine. She said within her course for nursing, she opted to go into the field of Ultra Sound, which was a Years Course. She enhanced her knowledge and with it her Pay Cheque.

    Likewise, Sri Lanka Nurses should be given the opportunity for career advancement. USA, I believe is presently short of around 500,000 Nurses. The Minister of Health, should seriously look into this aspect of career advancement in Nursing. Nurses will have to be fluent in English, and the Universities should step into to help the Nursing Sector to acquire the required knowledge. I sincerely look forward to Sri Lanka sending Nurses to USA, to improve their knowledge and quality of Life.

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