In the month of May we celebrate Nurses Appreciation Week! (May 6-12). The week was full of loving posts, discounts and gifts from companies like Dunkin, Chipotle, Corcs, and pure appreciation for our modern day heroes. Nurses have, and will continue to help people recover from illness and feel nurtured so they can live a healthier lifestyle to stay safe. As a society we can’t forget about their long hours, and dedication to their jobs. It is important to understand what a career in nursing means and to learn more about their profession to have a better appreciation as to why honoring nurses and the caregivers in their department doesn’t just stop on the 12th of May. We will continue to show our support and gratitude to these healthcare heroes who are helping to save lives, one person at a time
The importance of nursing
Nurses have been important to society for centuries. The profession is much different today than they it was then. In the 17th century, nurses were mostly found in church run hospitals and convents. In the early 1800’s Florence Nightingale realized a need for advancing the profession in the healthcare industry due to the fact that the deaths in the Crimean War were mostly due to infections, not just the wounds from soldiers. It took another 100 years for nursing to become a more accurate version of what we see today.
The role nurses play now is of utmost importance to healthcare. About 70 years ago you could say nurses were order-takers for doctors, such as changing beds, delivering medication and bathing patients, where in today’s society they are held with respect within the medical community, and unwavering support from the public. Nurses today have much greater responsibilities and autonomy, and enjoy an increasingly collaborative relationship with physicians and other members of the healthcare team. But what do nurses do? Why are they so important? Let’s take a look at the reasons the nursing profession is so great.
Nurses tend to spend more time with patients
Thinking back to old doctor appointments and check ups, you usually had a nurse come in, check your vitals and build relationships with patients during casual conversation. That small talk isn’t just to avoid awkward silences, skilled nurses tend to ask questions in order to get to know their patients more, to make it more comfortable for patients to share additional information on their health conditions. In hospitals the time nurses spend with patients is even more. In a recent study, of the time intensive care patients spent with at least one healthcare practitioner, around 86 percent of that time was with nurses, compared to just 13 percent with physicians.
Nurses are patient advocates
With all the time nurses spend with patients, it allows them to learn patients behaviors, wants, needs, overall health, their habits, and concerns making nurses an important advocate for their care. An example of this could be if a nurse realizes a patient’s medication isn’t working well, they can contact the pharmacy to talk through it. They are there to make sure you’re receiving the right care, and since they are able to get to know you on a different level than the doctor they advocate for your health as much as they can.
Nurses monitor your health
One of the most important roles as a nurse is the monitoring of a patient. While physicians and other members of the care team do check on patients from time to time, it is nurses who monitor their condition day in and day out. Nurses record everything from patients vitals, and reasons for their visits, to their current medications. After recording important information, they summarize these assessments, and update permanent medical records and apply charges. In fact, nurses spend a fair amount of time updating records and communicating pertinent information to the larger care team.
Nurse hardships through COVID-19
During the 2020-2021 pandemic in particular, nurses have gone through a lot, but have risen to the challenge. At at work, things like supplies were limited, the equipment to protect themselves became scarce and patients that were, and still, test positive for COVID-19, needed higher levels of treatment. Roles were also added to nurses when there were no longer family visits. Residents and patients had to video call family members that would normally come in and visit, giving nurses and their supportive team, more responsibility. With no family around, nurses also had to be the patients’ care providers and family support in end-of-life situations. Our nurses carry the burden of feeling helpless, at times, because of some the losses we experienced during the pandemic. At home, they had to self isolate themselves from their own families in order to keep their patients safe and to protect their own family from becoming sick. This added extra stress to their life during the heart of the pandemic, but they still showed up with a smile.
We must take a moment to realize the role nurses play throughout our lives and what they have done for us. They have sacrificed to give the best care they possibly can in order for society to find some normalcy. They have demonstrated the ability to adapt, and overcome major hurdles in the past 2 years. We will continue to show our gratitude to the profession, and know that their hard work has begun to bring us in a better direction.
Spring Hills Appreciates Our Nurses
Thank You to our entire Nursing Team! Our Nurses, caregivers and entire healthcare team have become modern day heroes, saving, helping and keeping individuals feel cared for and valued. COVID-19 has created me-hem in the medical industry. Without the dedication nurses have for their job, we wouldn’t have come as far as we have in getting life back on track. Spring Hills is proud to have such amazing nursing associates that love what they do and provide the best possible care, even during a pandemic. Our residents and patients are our number one priority, and with the help of our healthcare professionals we have continued to help many of them Live Happy.