Who runs the hospital? What do nurses contribute in a hosptial or other healthcare facility? Just prior to writing this article, I wrote another one which was initiated by another article I had read. After this I read another one that said a lot of what I had read previously then wrote.
This last one that I read said that “nurses are the heart of caring”, which is basically what the last one said. Then I gave the example that I had when I became the administrative head nurse in a facility, was that nurses as leaders run the hospital whereas other department leaders in the place run their department spedifically. I kind of got the same message from this article that I just read.
Nurses play a very important role to patients. Usually a patient comes in as a stranger. They have no connection, but the patient must trust this person to help him recover. This is hard today, especially in today’t world. We used to trust people, but today this has to be built upon. So much has happened in the world and in our lives that we know have to earn that trust. In healthcare that frequently is not possible. When a person comes into a hospital he probably is in dire straits and there is no time to build that trust. In fact in some cases one’s life is dependent on the other person.
Not only do nurses play an important part in the care of the patient, both physically and emotionally, they, also, play an important part in the functioning of the hospital. As I said in my last blog, the nurse coordinates all of those involved in the patient’s care and recovery. Without this, the care of the patient would be very disjointed and perhaps even dangerous to the patient.
Have you ever had a patient that has several doctors involved, each prescribing meds and care for the patient. Sometimes it works against the patient. Some medications, for example, are contraindicated and should not be given together. It isn’t always the doctor’s fault. Sometimes, one doctor does not know that the patient is going to another doctor and sometimes to several other doctors. If he does not know this, how can he safely care for the patient.
I have a family member that had a liver transplant three years ago. Everything that is ordered for her is supposed to go through the liver transplant team. She has diabetes as well and has several other doctors involved in her care. This person knows that if her primary care doctor and if any doctor orders something for her, the transplant team is to be notified. For some reason she does not to do. Consequently it could be dangerous for her. Pharmacy staff should pick up on contraindications, but in this case the meds themselves may be fine together. However, one of them may not be alright because of the liver.
In most situations, the nurse, especially in the hospital is the one that should and would be the one to coordianate all of the doctors and other departments involved in the patient’s care. I worked in home care for many years and here it is vital that the nurse do so. She is the one that knows or should find out, at least, who else is involved in the care of this person and then coordinate the care with the primary care giver.
As you can see nurses are at the heart of caring and the heart of the hospital. This is not to say that other health care providers and care givers are not important in the care of the patient. Everyone has something to give and nurses could not do it alone. I don’t think that any nurse believes that she is more important than the respiratory therapist or the health care aide or housekeeping and dietary. All that I am trying to point out is how much the nurse does to keep things running and to see that it runs smoothly and safely for the patient.
What does she get out of it? Most nurse’s reward comes from giving to others and seeing them get well. It is the patient that rewards the nurse. Hospitals often don’t even acknowledge how much she gives, but if a patient thanks her or just smiles as he is leaving she gets her reward.
Nurses need to take care of themselves and reward themselves. Find things that make you feel good. At the very least give yourself a pat on the back and know that you were instrumental in them getting well. Most nurses just want to know that you know how much the nurse cared and gave without expecting any thing in return.