6 Ways Nurses Impact Patients’ Health And Recovery

Health And Recovery

The health care sector of any community is crucial to its health and well-being. Today, especially during the prevalent pandemic crisis, community health relies significantly on how well the health care sector can perform. In addition to the widely recognized professional doctors, nurses form a major part of this crucial sector. You cannot neglect the role these nurses play in ensuring that the patient receives excellent care. Let us look at some important contributions nurses make to patients’ health and recovery and reinforce their importance.

1. Nurses use their knowledge and experience to advocate for their patients

While doctors are there to provide immediate treatment, nurses assist their patients until the very end. Not only are they qualified, but also highly experienced in delivering patient care. Their patient-centered care plays a vital role in providing long-term recovery. Nurses working by the patient’s side day in and day out in the hospital or at home are the primary caregivers and thus significantly impact patient health. A study conducted in Japan shows that the nurse’s emotional relationship with patients had a major impact on their recovery in a psychiatric facility.

After all, most nurses specialize and have experience in the tasks they perform. Those who have nurse practitioner specialties acquired from nurse specialization courses are most adept in their job. A family nurse practitioner is best suited for family-focused health care for patients of any age. In contrast, a psychiatric health nurse specializes in handling mentally ill patients. In short, experienced nurses significantly improve the prospect for patients to recover quickly. 

2. Nurses improve patient care

Without nurses, the health care system is likely to collapse. The quality of care in any hospital relies greatly on the role nurses play. These frontline workers provide the care required to prevent additional complications like pneumonia, pressure ulcers, or deep vein thrombosis, reducing patients’ time at the hospital.

Another interesting thing to consider here is the importance of nurses’ continued education for the health care sector. Most states have made it mandatory for nurses to continue their education to maintain a license. In states where this is not mandated, hospitals may have this requirement in their policy. Nurses receiving such additional training will educate their patients and other health care workers, producing a trickle-down impact.

 3. Nurses ensure health literacy for their patients

In medical care, health literacy is the extent to which a person can make wise and educated decisions about their health. This includes basic health-based tasks like interpreting prescription bottles and understanding appointment slips. Research has shown that nearly 88% of U.S. adults have limited health literacy. About 77 million people face difficulty managing health-related tasks for themselves and their families. This is where the role of nurses comes into play. Nurses can interact closely with patients regularly and candidly educate them about basic health care tasks in the process. While chatting with their patients, they get to talk about such issues as diet and hygiene casually.

4. They support the patient’s family as well

When someone beloved to you is already suffering from ill health, dealing with hospital procedures and staying the night can get nerve-wracking. Nurses in hospitals look after the patient’s loved ones, giving reassurances, keeping them updated, offering sympathy, and encouraging a positive attitude. Nurses are there to answer questions and provide encouragement when they need it most.

5. In-home nursing post-treatment reduces anxiety and prevents lasting impacts

Treatment doesn’t end at the hospital for most. Where major surgeries are involved or when chronic illnesses are diagnosed, the need for patient care can get excruciatingly long-lasting. Surgeries, in particular, have lasting impacts. This may range from a complete change in routine to the need for some minor adjustments. Either way, post-treatment can get very anxiety-provoking and create uncertainty. Having a reliable nurse in such times can be a huge blessing. In addition to the emotional support, nurses also bring their knowledge that can be wonderful when suffering post-treatment symptoms like nausea, dizziness, or pain. Some even suffer postoperative cognitive dysfunction that can get highly distressing if not for someone who understands the condition. 

6. They provide emotional support to their patients

Nurses understand the stresses that patients face. Hence, if a patient needs to share their feelings, they can always talk to a nurse. Patients’ feelings range from fear and uncertainty to depression. Nurses who have witnessed this frequently can relate to the patient’s fears. They can give practical advice, answer questions and provide reassurance. When patients are regularly in the presence and care of specific nurses, they find a level of comfort and security with them that they don’t find elsewhere.

Final words

In short, nurses are indispensable. In terms of patient care and for the smooth running of a health care facility, nurses are of utmost importance. Patients, who are in desperate need of proper health care and a compassionate companion to listen to them, rely heavily on their nurses for their wellbeing. Thus the nurse-patient relationship is of vital importance in the patient’s health and recovery.