Nursing today is not what it used to be a decade ago due to Transformed Healthcare System. Today nurses are matching the speed of a fast-paced healthcare system. New technologies are being introduced, and medical science is registering incredible breakthroughs, developing new and advanced drugs. Moreover, new patient treatments are being researched for chronic and fatal illnesses. With so much happening in healthcare, it is understandable that nurses cannot work with the same set of skills.
These skills help nurses serve at the forefront of the healthcare system and keep it stable, just like the backbone of a human body. In healthcare, there is nothing like one-job-at-a-time; therefore, nurses who cannot multitask might need to stay out of this profession. If not, they need to be prepared to wear various hats during their work in a healthcare facility. Today healthcare needs those nurses who are ready to come out of their comfort zone, make decisions on the go, and possess exceptional analytical and problem-solving skills.
In the redesigned healthcare system of today, nurses are seldom limited to delivering the services of a caregiver only; their roles have considerably extended into other areas of work too. These roles expand to provide services to patients from various ethnic, religious, societal, and cultural backgrounds. New career options are also popping up like never before to perform these roles. These positions accommodate nurses needed for performing non-traditional functions in areas such as leadership and management. While there is no denying that nurses’ roles are changing, and the reasons are also pretty clear, below, you will know how these roles are changing in a transformed healthcare system.
- Getting higher education to perform their job
Nurses today require higher education to fulfill many of the same roles they used to perform in the past. In light of the emergence of many nurse practitioner career options, nursing students must earn higher degrees and certifications to land exciting positions in the industry.
One reason for introducing these careers is the introduction of new treatments that hinge on knowledge of technology. With such challenges in healthcare, a nurse’s job has become more complicated. As a result, more than ever before, today, nurses are heading back to the classroom and pursuing advanced nursing qualifications. These new degree programs are their only way to stay prepared for their job on a hospital floor.
Many hospitals are also encouraging their nurses to enroll in online degree programs, preparing them to participate in boardroom discussions, policy change agendas, and leadership decisions.
- More nurses are stepping into leadership positions
In the past, nurses were only discussed in the context of patient care. However, today, you will see nurses in leadership positions making important decisions and stepping off the floor into boardrooms. Since nurses are closer to the patients due to spending most of their time with them, their value-added experience is impossible to ignore. Hence, it is only reasonable to include them in discussions about improving the present and future of patient care.
As a result, many nurses find their way towards the top positions due to their distinguishing leadership abilities. For the first time in decades, nurses’ views are taking center stage, truly rewarding them for being the largest group of healthcare professionals in the entire industry. Over the years, nurses have realized that if they want to bring the change, they will have to become part of the discussion; this is precisely what they have done in a transformed healthcare system.
- Taking up advanced responsibilities
As nurses make their way into advanced roles, their responsibilities are also changing. More nurses now engage with external and internal stakeholders; therefore, they need high-quality problem-solving and critical thinking skills to excel. Moreover, effective communication skills are fundamental to their job success when they finally get into leading teams and get the work done. They need to be sensitive about the people from various religious, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds and know how to communicate without hurting their sentiments. Learning about the general aspects of various cultures and their sensitivities is therefore essential. Nurses’ educational curriculum must include courses that prepare them to tackle these delicate issues.
- Developing a culture of health and well-being
Nurses are not only needed for delivering care for the patients in the hospital; now, they are helping to develop a culture of health. On the whole, healthcare is capitalizing on nurses to broaden its vision and move past its job of treating physical patient ailments. The goal of this culture is to provide holistic care not limited to their physical body. Even though the development of a culture of health and well-being needs time and collaboration of various sectors, nurses are still at its heart. They are the most trusted profession in healthcare; hence they can be an ideal driver for this change. They already support the whole system of care, and their access to the patients creates touch points that can help them bring change.
- Leading the patient advocacy programs
Nurses’ role as patient advocates is one of their most meaningful responsibilities in the transformed healthcare of today. While helping patients with care needs, they develop enough trust to feel comfortable talking to them. Thus, today they have the role of advocating their patients’ concerns in front of higher management, doctors, and other medical team members. Their empathy and compassion personality traits also make them well-suited for this job.
- Focusing on interpersonal collaborations
Nurses’ job does not require them to work alone; instead, they collaborate with other health care professionals. Those days are over when nurses were limited to their work only; now, they work in collaborative teams, including doctors, social workers, medical assistants, physicians, and many more. Collaborations across professions have become a hallmark of the transformed healthcare system. Today, nurses need communication skills inside the hospital and represent their work and workplace on other platforms.
They are needed to utilize their clinical knowledge and presence across health care settings to ensure the proper interaction of care providers and patients along the continuum of care. In addition, they must develop systems to ensure that patients needing primary care have access to specialist consultations, nutrition counseling, medication reconciliation, physical therapy. Moreover, nurses must ensure that patients receive adequate assistance with socioeconomic issues that hamper their ability to take care of themselves.
Healthcare is transforming, so are the roles and expectations from nurses. They are the largest healthcare providers hence are looked at for leading this change, speaking on behalf of the patients and their families, receiving more education, and getting into non-traditional roles. The good news is that nurses are capable of doing all this and more to continue to work as the backbone of the healthcare system.