Nurses work hand in hand with doctors and other members of the healthcare fraternity to provide care needed by patients as individuals. Nurses provide a range of services to their patients ranging from advocacy to the role of collaborators among others. This paper seeks to tackle the different roles that nurses have as health care providers.
Nurse’s Role as Researcher
Research is a key aspect in any profession health care not being left behind. For there to be effective care to patients caregivers need to dedicate part of their time to explore on the new trends in healthcare practices. For there to be successful clinical research there is need for dedicated research nursing staff. One of the key qualities of research nurses is their leadership and organizational skills because most of the times they are their own bosses and need to appropriately organize their work as in most cases they tend to work alone. Another key requirement is extensive knowledge on clinical issues specifically the field they want to focus on. Research nurses also need to have comprehensive knowledge of the research process starting from setting goals and objectives, data collection and finally data analysis. Computer knowledge is also essential, as it will aid them in the research work.
The job of a research nurse entails submission of study proposals, coordination and managing the research process, getting consent from patients for trial purposes. They are also responsible for data collecting and ensuring that patients health especially those who have volunteered for trial forms the key precedence to anything else. In conclusion, the profession of research nurses is challenging and exciting and requires extensive knowledge and skills.
Nurse’s role as collaborator
Merriam Webster defines to collaborate is to work jointly with others or together especially in an intellectual endeavor. Nurses who act as collaborators therefore work jointly with patients, doctors and fellow nurses with the aim of achieving a common goal or objective. Their work involves exchanging ideas and views regarding the general functioning of the healthcare facility. For effective patient care, there is need for the nurses and doctors to develop an efficient collaborative relationship.
Malone and Morath (2001) list emotional maturity as a key requirement for successful collaboration. They describe maturity as the ability to be attentive in identifying the latest best practices and in keeping knowledge up to date. Persistence, humbleness and ability to take responsibility for mistakes are some of the qualities that define nurses as collaborators. Nurses also need to have the ability to respect other people’s opinions and perspectives on different issues in the health care environment. Lastly, nurses need to be able to avoid fatigue as their work entails much strain especially emotionally. Nurses if not careful are most likely to suffer from Compassion fatigue which is caused by indirect trauma as a result of having to observe human suffering, painful procedures and demise self renewal techniques should therefore be developed.
Nurse’s Role as Clinician
Nurse Clinicians are registered nurses who have advanced training than the general nurses. Their role includes performance of physical examinations, ordering of X-ray tests, creation and management of treatment plans, and drug prescription duties. They provide direct patient care as well as working with other nurses.
Nurse’s Role as Consumer Advocate
This involves identification of problems and ways of resolving issues on behalf of patients. They act as a connection between patients and other parties involved. Here the nurses act as go betweeners to the patients in cases of crisis, complaints, mediation, negotiation and management of information. These nurses check to ensure patients are satisfied with the care given, they come up with mission and policies to guide the general practice within an organization and offer additional care to patients for example post-discharge care.
Patient confidentiality is another area that nurses as consumer advocates seek to address. They ensure all information pertaining patients is treated confidentially with high dignity and respect. They also explain processes and procedures to patients and offer counseling and emotional support during bereavement and grief. These nurses work hand in hand with consumer care agencies to ensure patients’ rights are protected and their needs as consumers met.
Nurse’s role as manager of systems
Nurse managers are also referred to as head nurses. They are usually responsible for the administration functions of the units in which they are in charge. They are charged with the responsibility of recruiting nursing personnel and engaging the entire unit in decision making pertaining the day-to-day practice and patient care. These nurses need to ensure optimal patient satisfaction by monitoring the services carried out by other nurses.
Important qualities for effective management of systems include great people skills, good negotiating skills and sound judgment skills as well as great sense of humor. Just like other managers the roles of nurses as managers of systems also involves creating an environment where rewarding work. These nurses continually work to minimize obstacles, barriers and excuses that may hinder efficient working environment for the nurses and the entire health organization. They act as mentors, leaders and coaches in the place of work in order to contribute to the professional development of their colleagues and foster patient satisfaction.
Nurse’s Role as Consultant
Consultant nurses work in medical related legal cases. They provide testimony based on their expertise and experience in the medical field. Medical cases in court may be in form of medical malpractice, criminal cases, and patient injury among others. Their role is to advising and educating the legal fraternity on medical cases.
They should be well endowed with the ability to carry out research and constant review of medical records as well as report preparation skills. They explain medical jargon to the legal professionals as well as explain health conditions. They also do witness coaching. These nurses need to have diverse knowledge on the medical field, excellent communication skills as well as ability to pay attention to details. These nurses work hand in hand with consumer care agencies to ensure patients’ rights are protected and their needs as consumers met.
Nurse’s Role as Change Agent
Change agents are people with clear visions and dreams as well as ability to carry out clear communication with others. Nurses who act as change agents strive to bring positive change in the behavior of those they interact with in most cases patients. One key quality they must possess in the persistence. This is important because change is a process that takes time, it cannot take place overnight therefore need for whoever is initiating it to be patient and not give up easily.
They also need to be of unquestionable moral standing and good character to act as change agents. They need to be trustworthy in order to build strong relationships that will lead to change. Lastly, nurses acting as change agents need to be widely knowledgeable and wholesome on both the health sector and the general world outside their work environment.
Nurse’s role in improving healthcare delivery and outcomes
Nurses are important members of any society whose work the community cannot do without. Nurses have extensive knowledge of the health care system and patient care procedures. Their key role includes ensuring patient safety and quality service provision to patients. They act as a link between patients and the entire healthcare system. Without nurses, the health care system would fail to function effectively. Lastly, nurses need to be able to avoid fatigue as their work entails much strain especially emotionally.
Nurses play a key role in treating patients with chronic illnesses as they are trained to treat everybody equally despite of the medical condition the patient might be suffering from. Their care for the elderly is also key in improving healthcare delivery and outcomes. Nurses are also important in providing health information, as it is a significant factor driving towards improving healthcare delivery and enhancement of better health within a society.
Communication strategies for interacting with other healthcare professionals
Communication is an important aspect in any healthcare setting. Effective strategies should be put in place to ensure effective communication among all professionals in the healthcare environment. Nurses should maintain respect while talking and interacting with the fellow staff. Dignity and appreciating the key role played by each individual is also important to improving interaction with others. Efforts should be put in developing the communication skills starting from the ability to explain and present information in a way that can be easily understood, critical listening and appropriate body language.
Strategies for Working in collaborative and Interdependent Relationships
Collaboration is the ability of working together towards achieving a common goal. For there to be effective collaboration there is need for strong and interdependent relationships with a healthcare environment. Professionals should realize that for there to be patient satisfaction they must work together despite their personal disparities. There is need for a health environment to always ensure that all its employees have the ability to treat patients with great respect and dignity. Patient satisfaction is should be the result (Lee & Garvin, 2003).
Negotiation Skills for Nurses
Nurses should be endowed with the ability to differentiate between the problems and people in whatever situation they find themselves in. Nurses should be able to effectively separate themselves from problems and always be responsible. During difficult times, they should be able to swallow their egos and bring themselves to the level of individuals who need negotiation.
Nurse practitioner, clinical nurse specialist, nurse anesthetist, and certified nurse-midwife
A nursing practitioner has additional training in pediatrics and family care. Clinical nurses on the other hand have extensive specialization in specific fields for example a disease, population or the emergency room among others. Lastly, a certified nurse-midwife has special knowledge and training for caring for women during delivery.
Nurses play an important role in the healthcare environment. They have a diverse career path and therefore, for them to be effective, a balance between all these diversities needs to be established. Nurses have to perform different responsibilities that include acting as researchers, collaborators, clinicians as well as acting as nurse-midwives. Dignity and appreciating the key role played by each individual is also important to improving interaction with others.
Lee, R. G., & Garvin, T. (2003). Review Moving from information transfer to information exchange in health and health care. Sociology of Science and Med., 56(3), 449-464.
Malone, G. & Morath, J. (2001). Pro-patient partnerships. Nursing Management, 32(7), 46-47.