Monday, February 2, 2015

What is the Role that Could Heal Healthcare??? 5 Ways Nurses can be the Answer to Reform

Nurses have a long legacy of caring for our fellow citizens.  From the originator of our profession (Florence Nightingale) to modern day men like me, nurses everywhere hold this privilege to care for the needs of others as what defines us.  The role of the nurse has expanded greatly over the years as our influence has impacted almost every aspect of medicine.  Nurses have become versatile professionals that can be the answer to healing our current system.

Here are 5 ways that nurses could make an impact in changing the face of health care:

We are the Advocates - Currently there is much discussion in health care about empathy and patient centered care, but nurses have been providing a holistic approach that focuses on delivering care to the individual since the Crimean War.  We know what it is to provide dignity in undignified moments, and to care for that patient as your own family.  With this knowledge and experience we serve as the best advocates for knowing what patients and their families need when they're in our care.

We are the Balance - Our schooling requires that we grasp the concepts of what makes a body healthy and sick, but we also come to understand that sometimes the answers may be elusive unless you stop to listen to the patient.  Many of us have learned over the years that patients are the best diagnosticians, and believe that trusting what patients and families tell you versus what may be in a published study or book.  As nurses we provide the balance necessary to humanize medical science, so people are able to receive competent compassionate care.

We are the Continual Presence - Very few other health care professions interact with patients and families like nurses.  We are found in every aspect throughout the continuum, which leads to our thorough understanding of what is necessary to create positive outcomes for those in our care.  We are found at every stop along the path because we care for both those being born and those leaving this world. 

We are the Foundation - Our long and proud history has caused us to be the only discipline who is asked to function in multiple capacities.  At times we may be the social advocate figuring out how to keep the lights on for those we serve, or may be the spiritual presence as we hold the hand of one who's life is moving on.  As the foundational role in medicine we represent the largest number of any health care profession.  Therefore, we need to use our voice to build the foundation of a system that will meet the needs of all we serve.

We are the Answer - Nurses are continually put in autonomous roles where they have to think and lead quickly to save lives and resources.  Most of us are comfortable in these situations, and have used this ability to move into greater roles of responsibility.  Now is the time for nurses to take a more important role in changing health care by becoming the leaders of tomorrow.  We need to provide our expertise in caring for patients, our understanding of what is necessary to give staff the tools to effectively deliver care, and our perspective of what the answers are to creating a system of both quality and satisfaction for those we serve.

It is my duty
Dawn Butler, RN
I walk through those doors with pride,
Who's life will i save tonight?
Someone is waiting for me,
Someone is alive today because of my duty.
Sometimes we cry cause we can't save them all,
God sometimes won't let us interfere when he calls.
A baby's first breath when he looks at me,
The joy of my first delivery.
The tear i wipe a way with my own hands,
The life ending of a gentle old man.
The night seems so dark and the morning so bright.
Being a nurse you see life in a different light.
Who will i save tonight?
Who will hold my hand during their last breath with no fright?
Who will enter this world on my shift?
How many mothers will greet their babies with a kiss?
I don't know who these special people are
but i will meet them with every call
I will hold them tight and help the pain
I will hold them up when they feel faint.
I will be strong when i am needed
That is my job, I am a nurse..that is my duty. 
My hope is that those who read this believe as I do that nurses can be the positive force to drive change in America's health care system.  I would encourage my fellow nursing professionals that each of us look for new and innovative ways to create a greater impact in our spheres of influence, and step up to the plate if you really want to see things change.  
Take care.   Dave

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Thanks for visiting. I would love to hear your thoughts. Take care, Dave.