The multi-faceted role of a nurse
May is a month full of Celebration! From May 6th to May 12th we celebrate National Nurses Week, a week dedicated to honoring the contributions and sacrifices of these medical professionals who help us in many facets of life. Nursing is a versatile career and an often overlooked one, with many people only regarding doctors as medical professionals. But many people don't realize that nurses play a pivotal role in overall patient care and healthy outcomes. Nurses, for one, are a crucial link between patients and doctors, being the people to diagnose, interpret, and administer care to patients before they even step into a doctor's office. On top of that, nurses are often the unsung heroes in many instances as we've seen during the covid-19 pandemic. Nurses were tasked with helping those who had contracted COVID by caring for them in hospitals and urgent care and then administering vaccines by the thousands.
Nurses not only help when it comes to medical support, but they're often juggling many duties including being mental and emotional support for patients and their families. In hospital settings, nurses are often people who are reporting to families and inform them of updates and statuses. They oftentimes have to deliver heartbreaking and unsettling news and not only care for the emotional needs of their patient, but their families as well. People don't realize that this not only takes an emotional toll on nurses, but it is also something that they do that other medical professionals are often removed from. For example, an anesthesiologist does not have to report that something has gone wrong in an operating room, whereas a nurse does. They have the closest proximity to patients and develop relationships with these patients and their families.
Nurses have also taken on new roles in helping those with mental health issues. Historically, we've considered nurses as people who often treat non-critical injuries and we see their work as purely superficial. But over the last 20 years, this has changed dramatically with nurses helping in emergency rooms, trauma units, and Urgent Care settings. In these settings, sometimes they are assessing a patient's physical needs, and other times they're assessing their mental needs. they might be dealing with patients with a variety of mental health struggles as well as physical ailments and have to be meticulous when administering care.
It should go without saying, but modern-day healthcare wouldn’t be what it is without nurses, and for that, we celebrate them!