Nurses are the backbone of a healthy healthcare sector. These professionals render their services in more than one way. Apart from routine checkups, a nurse can make a patient’s experience a pleasant or regrettable one. If nurses have no other intention than to protect and take care of their patients, they’re no less than heroes. When patients check into hospitals, they want the best care. Unfortunately, the hustle-bustle of the hospital sector sometimes makes it impossible to provide care. Nurses hold the position and authority to take care of their patients to the best of their abilities. Here’s how nurses can advocate and protect their patients through skills and knowledge:
Ensure patients are not treated harshly
When a patient is coming to the hospital, they need proper care. These include providing a wheelchair as soon as possible. Nurses should guide paramedics accordingly so the patient gets strapped properly while riding the ambulance. Nurses should also never try to transfer patients from the gurney to a hospital bed without enough staff members. When patients get jerked and get yanked from their rest position, they can get hurt. The injury can cause fractures and even cases of internal bleeding. Patients should always feel safe and protected.
A clinical research nurse can contribute more to serving ailing patients. Research is the application of data to understand the trend of diseases. These also include studying what treatments are viable in assisting people in dealing with respective conditions. Research also includes studying how these diseases prevail and what community seems to be severely affected. For example, mesothelioma cancer impacts white people more than other ethnicities. Reported cases of people hailing from different ethnic backgrounds don’t show signs of mesothelioma. So, if a case of mesothelioma appears, a nurse may have a substantial understanding of the treatment.
Give patients a voice
Patients are allowed to voice their concerns while staying in the hospital. Since they’re incredibly vulnerable, they are well aware of what they want. Nurses can take into account what patients are trying to tell them. For example, if the private rooms are not up to standard, nurses can bring it up to the hospital’s dean. Apart from discussing what the hospital lacks, nurses can also help patients understand their condition. Explaining includes walking a patient through their disease and informing them about their expected recovery timeline. It also includes explaining medical terms to the patients so that they understand what they’re going through.
Provide the patient education
Educating a patient means informing them about what their care looks like outside the hospital. A nurse may report them if their diet needs modification. How often do they need to take their medicines, and how often do their wounds need cleaning. It also informs the patient how they need to take care of their health if they have no help. If a patient needs a follow-up examination, tell them when they need to come back. Also, inform them if they need to come in to get their medicine administered. For example, if a patient is undergoing chemo, they need to know when their next session is, and a nurse can keep them updated accordingly.
Protect a patient’s rights
Patients have certain rights when they come to a hospital. They can refuse treatment or question their doctor if they’re not satisfied. When it comes to treatment, a patient makes their decision. Only when a patient provides informed consent will a doctor proceed with treatment. However, in some cases, such as when a patient is unconscious or not cognitively responsive, a family member can intervene. If a patient is a minor, the decision lies with the guardian. But, a nurse may still inform the little patient on what they should expect and give the family space to discuss. In case a nurse observes that a patient does not agree to treatment despite the family’s approval, they may intervene. Intervention includes analysing the situation to proceed with the best course of action. A patient’s disagreement will never get subsided since it can hurt them or put their lives at risk.
Paperwork is necessary to make sure the patient is getting appropriate care. Whether the information is collected manually or digitally, it needs to get checked. Double-checking informs the nurse if there are any errors. These can include what the patient gets tested for and if the correct serial number test gets recorded in their results. In the healthcare sector, mistakes can get dangerous. It may misinform the doctor or cause an accidental discharge. There have been reported cases in the past where doctors administer the wrong medicine or the wrong treatment. Unlike other sectors, a medical mistake is malpractice. A patient can get severely hurt, and the doctor is liable to get sued.
Connect the patient to appropriate resources
Patients need help when they get discharged and even during treatment. As a nurse, you can inform a patient where they can get the help they need. If a patient needs physical therapy, you can connect them to the right centre. You can also discuss different medical insurances with them and connect them to an expert. If the patient is ready to go home but has trouble walking, you can arrange transport.
Nurses play an essential role in the medical sector. They can advocate for patients and help them get the proper care. Nurses can provide optimum care by educating patients and their families. Any grievance a patient may have should get reported. The information that goes in the hospital database needs to be accurate. These few measures can keep patients safe and alive.
Adam Mulligan did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health and well-being.