Nursing Definition According to WHO
Beginning and History of the Nursing Profession
It is believed that the nursing profession began in 300 AD under Roman Empire. During this time only, the Roman Empire opened many hospitals in small towns and assisted nurses where they were working in premedical care. It started with the Roman Empire but flourished all over eventually. It grew through the catholic church. Later, it came into the limelight around the 18th & 19th centuries. Earlier, nurses used to care for all those sick, poor, or deteriorating health conditions. An important name that comes to mind when we think of nursing is Florence Nightingale in 1853. She was the one who founded modern nursing. Earlier, this profession didn't get any attention and was degraded. But during the 20th Century, this profession got some importance. Nursing skills started developing during that time. There were nursing schools where the nurses were taught critical care, pediatrics, etc. Florence Nightingale gave so much importance to it. She was dedicated to this profession wholeheartedly.
Nursing Definition According to WHO
According to World Health Organization (WHO), nursing is autonomous and collaborative care for people of different ages, communities, and families. In nursing, attention is given to all, whether health promotion or illness avoidance. Nursing is first to do with health emergencies along with working forepart.
Nursing is a profession performed by nurses. Who are nurses? They are the people who have some professional degree or knowledge of nursing, including primary nursery education. They are certified by a regulatory authority. The nurses generally engage in various activities like preventing a patient from suffering or health issues and so on.
Levels of Nursing
- Nursing is primary care setting: Nursing is primary care. In this, a person is first acquainted with the health and delivery system. Also, the needs fulfilled in this setting are public health nursing and occupational and clinical nursing.
- Nursing in a secondary care setting: In secondary care, health services are provided by a specialized professional.An individual is sent into secondary care only after primary care.
- Nursing in Tertiary care setting: In a tertiary care setting, all essential things are considered, like skilled care setting, rehabilitation skills, and advanced practice nurse.
- Promoting health and wellness: This is the most crucial function of nursing. In nursing, the well-being of the people is kept in mind to enhance the quality of patient life. Also, inventing community activities and making people aware of the repercussions of alcohol, smoking, etc.
- Preventing illness: The nursing profession helps prevent illness, i.e., saving an individual from diseases. It is done by conducting outreach programs and by visiting hospitals.
- Pain/Suffering alleviation: The nurse aims at alleviating the pain which a patient goes through. Proper protection is given to the suffering patient.
- Restoring health: A patient is detected so that he can be cured. His disease and symptoms are treated to make that person healthy. Direct care is given to the ill person. Not only this but diagnosis and consulting are also provided. The patient is rehabilitated by focusing on their mental and physical health.
- Creation of a spiritual environment: The spiritual environment is created for a patient, which helps him live a comfortable life and get back to everyday life. Further, Feelings of oneness and power are taught so that he can feel connected to spirituality.
Roles and Responsibilities of Nurses
- Nurses as an educator: Here, nurses educate their audience about health. How can they take care of themselves and control their symptoms of health? The nurses provide information related to health. They teach everyone, including individuals, families, and so on.
- Nurse as a counselor: As a counselor, a nurse counsels the people who are suffering or have suffered. The nurse interacts with the patients and makes them comfortable so that they can express their illnesses.
- Nurse as an advocate: Nurses also work as an advocate by protecting the rights of individuals. They represent every other patient. Their problems and issues are discussed by nurses only.
- Nurse as a researcher: The nurse analyzes and researches different scientific studies. From here only, they get the idea of upgrading the health services.
- Nurse as a caregiver: Nurse understands the treatment of the patients and provides care. Nurse helps them in making decisions and give medical support. By understanding their complex problem and issues, they provide medicine.
- Nurse as a leader: When a nurse holds the responsibility of a leader. She checks on everything. She has staff training to ensure the care of an individual. It is assumed that proper protocols are being followed. The safety of an individual is kept in mind.
Nursing Role in Different Settings
- Hospitals: In hospitals, a nurse works based on specialty. Different nurses move into various departments according to their abilities; cardiac nurses will go into the cardiology department, and so on.
- Physicians clinic: A nurse helps physicians in various ways like she may administer medicine. She might support in maintaining records of patients etc.
- Outpatient medical facility: Here, a nurse performs several tasks; she may help in changing the dress of a patient, may help in giving appropriate equipment to doctors, etc.
- Rehabilitation facilities: A person suffering from some chronic disease or injured is given special care. To improve his flexibility, she may provide physical therapy.
- Home settings: The nurse in this particular arena check the condition of a patient to determine whether she/he is okay or not. She visits home and takes care of the medicines of the patients. She takes care of the disability of patients.
Skills Required in Nurses
1. Hard skills
- Patient assessment: This is an essential and fundamental skill needed in nurses. She should know about assessing a patient, like how to check a patient's heart rate, blood pressure, and temperature. These are the things that show whether there is improvement in a patient's health or not.
- Patient care: A nurse takes care of everything from the patient's medicines to his health.
- Patient education: A nurse educates the patient and his family to care for themselves. She teaches them to take care, along with telling them the diagnosis.
- Technology skills: A nurse should be aware of the technology in the healthcare sector to comprehend the digital records of the patient.
2. Soft skills
- Critical thinking: A nurse should be in a position to think critically so that she can understand patient requirements and take decisions.
- Communication: The nurse should have proper communication skills to talk to patients, families, and friends easily. This communication may help a patient to improve his health conditions. These skills, like listening and speaking, will not only help the nurse to communicate but will also help the patient to listen to what the nurse is saying.
- Time management: A nurse should know how to practice time management skills. A nurse will have to manage her/his time in arranging things. It will also help the nurse to prioritize tasks.
- Patience: A nurse should have patience as she will be managing a lot of things. A lot of work may irritate her. But that patience will help the nurse to stay calm and perform his/her task successfully.
Factors affecting Nursing Profession
- Cost: Economics has become a significant factor affecting nursing. The nursing course has become more expensive than earlier due to which students need more money to afford. They also need to gain skills and awareness.
- Rise in patient awareness: Patients have become more aware. So, they expect nurses who have skills and knowledge.
- Culture background: Some people give importance to the other profession. But, due to their background, very few opt for this profession.
- Facilities and equipment: Due to the advancing technology, there are a lot of facilities and equipment which are being introduced in hospitals. It provides care to the patient. The nursing course may be affected if a nurse lacks these skills.
- Family and social background: Some people choose this course due to some family pressure or reason and they are forced to go into this profession to maintain the family's legacy. This family pressure creates stress in an individual which urges a person to not choose this profession.
Ways to Improve the Nursing Profession
- First, people should be aware of the existing problems so that the need to find solutions can emerge.
- There should be particular sets of skills that must be there in an individual so that he can cure patients.
- There should be a code of conduct that specifies the rules and duties of a nurse, along with telling them their benefits.
- People should be made aware of nursing courses. The people who can't afford nursing courses should be acquainted with scholarships through the government.
- The other aspect, on which we can work is communication. Nursing is all about communication and how you convey your ideas. Communication skills add a cherry to the cake, increasing the chances of being selected for nursing. One should be proficient in communication. They should be committed to their service. They should be knowledgeable and confident.
Courses in Nursing
To become a nurse, an individual must acquire specific qualifications, which will be certified by Indian Nursing Council (INC). These qualifications can only be obtained after completing secondary education. These qualifications are as follows:
- Bachelor's Degree in Nursing: B.Sc nursing is a mandatory course for a nurse. The duration of this course is four years. It builds the foundation for a nurse applicant. Everything is included, like health sciences, pathology, and many more.
- General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM): This is the diploma course at the undergraduate level, which is acknowledged by the Indian National Council (INC). It consists of 3 years and six months. This diploma teaches about caring for patients if they are ill.
- Auxiliary nursing and midwifery (ANM): It is a 2-year undergraduate diploma. It provides health care and midwifery education. A person must crack the entrance test before applying to the courses available for nurses, like B.Sc, GNM, ANM, etc.