Nurses play an ever-evolving role in the healthcare sector. As a nurse, your job is not limited to assisting doctors in caring for patients but also extends to working with the community to ensure they’re all healthy.
The population consists of numerous people from different backgrounds and ethnicities with many health problems. Hence, figuring out what each needs and striving to make it happen is the hallmark of a professional nurse.
As a nurse, you can inspire and connect the public to a healthy lifestyle, which you can do through by providing direct patient care, advocating for healthy living, and educating the masses on looking after themselves better. This article will provide you with an insightful dive into the role of nurses in enhancing community outcomes and how you can play your part:
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How Can You Do More Than the Minimum?
As a nurse, your career trajectory depends on your educational qualifications. Healthcare requires sufficient clinical knowledge, understanding of the basic sciences, and skills to assess your patient. On a rudimentary level, becoming a registered nurse (RN) or doing your bachelor’s in nursing (BSN) enables you to start your career as a professional nurse. At this stage, you can do no more than develop a patient’s health chart, monitor their vitals, and prepare them for the doctor.
So, if you want to make an impact, such as weighing in on a patient’s diagnosis, treating their conditions, and providing them consultation for chronic illnesses, you must become a nurse practitioner (NP). Fortunately, as this qualification has become popular among nurses, you can find a suitable post masters NP program online and choose to pursue it.
Nurse practitioners have a distinct role in the healthcare sector. The training and knowledge you will gain through this degree make you an asset to your patients; from ordering tests to performing physical examinations, you can offer your expertise in different ways.
As of August 2021, 24 states, including the District of Columbia, allow nurse practitioners to do their job without the supervision of a physician. You can achieve healthcare outcomes when you have the autonomy to branch out and look after your patients with no limitations.
How Do Nurses Promote Community Wellness?
Extending your help beyond the hospital and looking after the community can benefit them immensely. Here are some ways you can support the population:
1.Educate The Community About Their Health
Education empowers the community to make choices that are good for their health. Your understanding of the human body and how factors like diet, physical fitness, and genetics impact it can support the community in comprehending what poses a threat to their well-being. Education takes time; you must be prepared to be met with resistance and skepticism since accepting change while adhering to a new lifestyle is not easy.
Many people uphold their cultural beliefs over scientific evidence, which can hold them back from becoming healthy. For example, there is a common belief that applying ice cubes or home remedies like toothpaste can elevate the symptoms of a burn. But this is not true. Applying anything freezing can cause a frostbite-type effect, damaging the skin’s surface. While if you use something greasy, it can trap heat, causing a first-degree burn to become a third-degree wound.
The only effective measure against burns is to run it under cold water for several minutes until the burning sensation passes. Afterward, the wounded individual should apply antibiotics or take pain relief medication. If the burn is too severe, they must check into the ER. This way, you must create presentations, workshops, and seminars to address common health concerns and suggest practical ways to counter them. By clearing doubts, you motivate a community to look after themselves better.
2.Control The Progression of Diseases
Both chronic and acute health problems can burden the healthcare sector. This is why the community needs to know how to stop preventable diseases from spreading before they get out of hand and recognize when they’re on the border for a chronic health problem. This is why initiatives like discussing common infections, how they spread, and what the population can do to control them can save lives.
You can also help the community by carrying out mass vaccine programs, conducting regular screenings, and highlighting lifestyle choices that make the population more susceptible to an illness. As a result, diseases such as obesity, the common cold, and cancer can drastically reduce within the community.
3.Vital In Emergency Preparedness
Emergencies can strike anytime, and the community needs to know what to do in these distressing circumstances. Earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes, to name a few of these tragedies, are highly destructive. With your help, the population may know what to do.
As a nurse, you are responsible for ensuring everyone, sick, old, pregnant, disabled, injured, and minor, is immediately cared for. This includes using portable medical devices to check their vitals, administering medicines on the spot, and, if needed, assisting doctors in life-saving surgeries such as amputations.
You may also need to provide first aid and psychological support and offer your expertise to emergency responders on their next move to minimize casualties and damages. Your presence is a source of relief for the community, especially in these trying times.
4.Pivotal In Collaboration To Encourage Holistic Care
As a healthcare professional, you cannot undermine the importance of working with other community leaders, organizations, and departments within the healthcare sector to promote holistic care. For example, you can work with public health professionals to recognize the hurdles in maternal care.
Pregnant women who don’t have access to food, water, and a steady supply of vitamins often produce malnourished children.
Their environment and lack of comfort during this vulnerable period can weigh down on their bodies, pushing them to have difficult labor, painful deliveries, and babies injured.
Hence, by collaborating with public health experts, you can collect data on what is causing pregnant women’s health problems, what remedial measures can get implemented, and how the community can support these women.
Nurses are the backbone of a thriving healthcare sector. This is why your role in community wellness ensures the population is healthy and safe. There are numerous ways you can extend your expertise; these include educating the people, teaching them how to combat an emergency, and curbing infectious diseases before they spread. Your skills are also helpful for other healthcare departments that are striving to improve the community’s well-being. This is why your position in the medical sector is imperative in patient advocacy that leads to a healthy society.