June 1, 2020  | Updated: June 2, 2020

Category: Healthcare Industry, Nurses

IN A NUTSHELL:

  • Nurses are the backbone of the health care industry
  • Their wide range of skills make them essential to patient care
  • Nurses often spend more time with the patient than the physician

There is a common phrase being heard more often than ever before these days: “Not all superheroes wear capes.” This could not be truer for all of the nurses working in the health care industry.

Even before the COVID-19 pandemic, nurses have been the backbone of the health care industry. They also make up largest profession in health care with nearly 4 million registered nurses (RNs) nationwide, according to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing.

It goes without saying, nurses have a wide range of skills. The ability to accomplish so many tasks inherently earns them a substantial amount of trust. In facts, studies have shown that patients often trust nurses more than physicians. This is primarily due to the fact that nurses spend more time with the patients than their physicians.

While physicians may be occupied with clinical documentation or ordering prescriptions, nurses are in constant contact with patients: providing them with food, administering medications, and advocating on their behalf.

The amount of time they spend with patients and the kindness they display is not just by chance, it is a core aspect of their training. Nurses are usually the first, and last, healthcare worker a patient sees when they visit a medical facility.

From the start of the visit, up until the very end, nurses have a long list of “superpowers” that transform them into the health care heroes that they are.

 We picked out five:

  1. X-Ray Vision: Nurses have an uncanny ability to see ailments, conditions, or health complications that patients might not even be aware of themselves. Their extensive training, along with their clinical experience, allows them to see the patient in ways that the patient cannot even see themselves. Beyond diagnosing a patient’s health condition nurses can see into people’s hearts. They know when someone is not OK, despite what they might say. And they know what to do to make everything be as best as it can be.
  2. No Need to Sleep: Of course, nurses do sleep…sometimes. However, their job requires them to be able to care for patients whenever they are needed. Nurses will answer the call to action day or night. During the current times of the coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of nurses travel great distances too.
  3. Super Memory: Throughout the course of their shift, nurses are caring for patients of all ages, conditions, and health care needs. Sometimes a patient will see multiple nurses within one day, or the same nurse off and on during the course of a long-term stay at a health care facility. With patients that have routine visits to a health care provider, nurses often remember names, faces, and specific health care needs, even if it is been months since their last visit.
  4. Lightning Fast Speed: Nurses are not only available day or night; they can respond to the needs of patients in the blink of an eye. Every patient in a hospital or nursing home has a nurse call button, available for them to use as needed. The call button enables a patient who is confined to bed and has no other way of communicating with staff to alert a nurse of the need for any type of assistance. Sure enough, moments after the button is pressed, a nurse is at the side of the patient.
  5. Heart of Gold: Nurses are some of the most caring, compassionate, and empathetic people to walk the planet. They do their very best to understand and relate to each one of their patients in a special way. They comfort the families of those they are caring for and provide a shoulder to cry on in the darkest of times. Nurses are by the side of a patient when their loved ones are unable to, which is becoming even more frequent during the age of the COVID-19 pandemic. They are there to hold the phone, and their hand, as patients take their last breath and say goodbye.
“Although it’s natural for so many sick patients to give up hope, it’s a nurse’s job to keep the hope alive, even to the end. As nurses, we are the eyes to identify a problem, the ears to listen, the mouth to advocate, hand to uplift, the legs to support, and the heart to carry our patients through the finish line.” — Stephen Raymond, RN, ICU Nurse at University of Maryland Medical Center.

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