Healthcare Policy and Economics

Nursing is more of a calling than a profession. In some occasions, nurses have been referred to as “gatekeepers” of patients when it comes to quality care and patients safety. Arguably, nurses spend more time with the patients than the other professionals in health care, and this does not only make them “gatekeepers” but also the “thin white line” between the safety of the patients and both the suboptimal outcomes and the experience. In this case, a good comparison of nursing and safety can be the thin blue line of a police officer between order and anarchy. Nurses fight to keep their patients’ safety, and as a result of most of them hardly realize the impact and importance of their care to the patients and their families.

My nursing contribution to safe practice

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Nurses play a significant role when it comes to patients’ safety. Today, safety is at the forefront; it is a crucial component of quality, hence, the reason why crucial health care organizations like the America Nurses Association (ANA), the American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE) and the American Nurse Credentialing Center (ANCC) focus on safety (Bindon, 2017). As a nurse to be, I am aware that building a safety culture requires commitment and sustained leadership. The two are enhanced when a nurse keeps to the rules of the culture, communicates well to other health professionals and the patients, and performing basic care and follows checklist (Železnik, Blažun & Kokol, 2017). There are other many safety cautions, but these three are the most important to me. I will always ensure my colleagues, and I maintain the culture of safety all the time, as this is the best option for eliminating frequent errors and harm. However, it is nearly impossible to eliminate error, since our services are based on human function, and humans are fallible though not intentionally. I will demonstrate a collective and sustained commitment to promoting safety over competing goals as ANA requires. For my case, I will advocate for openness, support trust, ensure the resources for safe staffing are adequate, display transparency, and learn from my mistakes and errors. 

Without proper communication and collaboration, achieving safe practice is not an easy thing. In the field of health care, just like other fields, every member of the team is responsible for safety (Bindon, 2017), and the two main recipes here are communication and collaboration. As a nurse, I cannot keep quiet when I realize a mistake is about to happen, or equipment is faulty. However, it might be a different case if there is ineffective communication (Železnik et al., 2017). Sometimes, nurses raise these issues through shared governance. As a result, I will advocate for a good relationship between the nurses and the management or even nurse leaders; this will bring peace and promote teamwork and reduce many errors experienced in handoffs. Performing basic care and the following checklist is as important as effective communication (Železnik et al., 2017). I will make sure my time is programmed to not miss out on simple things like turning patients and providing oral care since they are very crucial. As simple as it is, not turning a patient can make her develop decubitus ulcers hence resulting in extra medial cost. On the other hand, proper oral care can reduce the chances of a patient suffering from pneumonia. 

My role as a nurse and how I will advocate for a healthcare consumer

As a nurse, my primary role is advocating and caring for individuals from any religious background and ethnic group and offer support through their illness and health. However, some responsibilities are part of the nursing roles. They  include: recording medical symptoms and history, collaborating with other health professions to promote patient care, advocating for the wellbeing and health of the patient, administering medication and treatment, performing diagnostic tests, operating medical equipment, advising patients and providing support, as well as educating them about illness management and other related benefits like Affordable Care Act (Stockwell, 2018). Nurses advocate for their patients when they perform their roles and responsibilities like helping them make informed decisions, suggesting treatment plans for them, and making them a priority. According to Bindon (2017) and Železnik et al. (2017), making sure that a patient has the right to make decisions concerning her health is one of the primary ways of advocating for them. I will abide by this all the time, especially if it is a competent and alert patient. I will take patients decisions seriously, offer help when required, and consult from other health professionals where necessary.

 When it comes to suggesting treatment plans for patients, I will collaborate with other health professionals and organizations like American Cancer Society or the American Lung Association to ensure that all patient receive quality treatment. For example, sometimes unwell patients have a rough time comprehending medical situations (Stockwell, 2018); when I come across such like a case, I will support the patient and represent his or her best interests all the times, more so during the making of treatment decisions. Patients are priorities of the nurses, and it will not be an exception for me. As patient advocacy requires, I will stand up for the rights of my patients and defend them firmly without turning back. I will make sure my personal preferences and feelings do not affect my work since health care is all about patients and their needs, not caregivers. Moreover, I will make sure I integrate each aspect of patient care, ensure all the concerns are addressed as expected, and standards are maintained. My will goal will always to achieve a positive outcome from every healthcare consumer.

Impact of policy changes in my future nursing roles

Health is a big concern. The concern is one of the reasons behind the continuous medical inventions and the rise of health benefits like the Affordable Care Act and Patient Advocacy (Stockwell, 2018). As a result, health policies change to fit the increasing concerns, resulting in new nursing roles like care coordinator, health coaches, nurse navigators, bundled care coordinators, and virtual care nurses. Soon as a nurse will be tasked to manage health center. The new roles are solely essential and will be of great need as care is bound to stretch beyond the acute hospital walls besides becoming more sophisticated (Gatchel, 2018). The roles will have a significant impact on patient care and will also keep me engaged in the field for longer. For example, patients with chronic conditions will now have my close attention. The work of the care coordinator is to ensure her patient stay well and as long as possible (Stockwell, 2018). Moreover, as a care coordinator I will be the one to formulate discharge plans of my patients, ensure they adhere to their appointments and medications. With this type of care, the patients will stay longer and less stressed.

Future changes in my nursing profession

In the recent past, the world has experienced a rapid advance in technology in almost everything. The continuous advancement has brought a lot of benefits to health care. However, advancement is soon going to take over nursing jobs. Automation is threatening the survival of nurses since robots like “Robear” are being manufactured to assume the position of nurses (Železnik et al., 2017). The robots are recently developed in Japan because of the high demand in elder care and shortage of nurses. Though at the moment, the impact is not yet felt since the robots are mostly in Japan, and their use has not yet commenced officially. However, the fear is that soon, the robots will start functioning and replace nurses (Gatchel, 2018). Though there is a consolation that nursing involves multifaceted roles, and they are somehow too complicated for artificial intelligence to replace them directly.

Conclusion

Nurses play a vital role when it comes to administering and evaluating treatment. Besides, they are the greatest advocates for the patients, since they spend a lot of time caring for them. Besides being advocates, nurses are teachers, caregivers, critical thinkers, and in some way, innovators. Nurses do much more than just taking care of their patients despite them being viewed as assistants to physicians, and their presence has helped transform lives. As a result, new roles like care coordinator are rising to help them achieve more and transform more lives. However, the advancement in technology is threatening their survival soon as robots are being developed to assume their nursing tasks.  

References

Bindon, S. L. (August 01, 2017). Professional Development Strategies to Enhance Nurses’ Knowledge and Maintain Safe Practice. Aorn Journal, 106, 2, 99-110

Gatchel, R. J. (2018). The importance of the profession of nursing in health care: Current and future issues. (Journal of applied biobehavioral research.) 

Stockwell, S. (2018). The Top Nursing News Stories of 2017. (American journal of nursing.)Železnik, D., Blažun, H., & Kokol, P. (January 01, 2017). A bibliometric analysis of the Journal of Advanced Nursing, 1976-2015. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 93, 2407-2419.

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