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Nurses: The backbone of our healthcare system

May 12, 2021

More nurses lead to fewer patient deaths and readmissions, shorter hospital stays, and cost savings for hospitals suggests a study of recent Australian state policy. The role of nurses in healthcare delivery in terms of promotion, prevention, treatment, care and rehabilitation is crucial to the smooth functioning of the system. On the occasion of International Nurses Day, Ms. Saroja Jaykumar, Chief of Nursing, Columbia Asia Hospital, Whitefield (A unit of Manipal Hospitals) writes about the heros of our healthcare system.

The spread of COVID 19 infection has posed an unprecedented challenge to all of us. The healthcare fraternity has faced the brunt of the Covid 19, from doctors to nurses all healthcare personnel had to put in extra work hours to handle the additional influx of patients while maintaining all the safety precautions. With the Nursing faculty being the front line warriors in terms of patient care at the hospital, they have played a crucial role on many occasions to ensure the safety and recovery of the patients. Their selfless contribution in efficiently managing the COVID scenario is unparalleled.

The nursing profession is always considered noble, selfless and exhausting. Be it a patient who is terminally ill or a patient recovering from fever, nurses do not show any hesitancy in treating them. Along with the help of doctors and their team, nurses care for people when patients are in their most fragile condition– instilling hope in them.

Patient satisfaction plays a major role in any healthcare facility. Along with the treatment a patient receives for his/her health problem, getting that extra care and attention from the staff is vital to a quick recovery. Nursing staff work selflessly at this juncture to provide the required attention to the patient and fulfil their needs.

Unsung heroes of our war against Covid

The pandemic has highlighted the altruistic contribution of the nursing community. Nurses across the world have been working day and night without the fear of Covid 19 while safeguarding the patients from the novel coronavirus. Though they have to wear PPE kits and masks for hours together, the entire nursing team have taken a pledge to ensure their patients’ health and wellness. Most days, they don’t even get to drink water properly, use the washroom or even have their meals on time. However, that smile on the face never fades. They keep their worries and problems aside to make the patients comfortable. There could be a sick baby at their home or parents or their husband, the dedication for the patients and work starts as soon as they step inside the hospital.

COVID-19 has brought in a sharp focus on the need for every nation to invest in nurses and their wellbeing. Taking care of their health becomes crucial for the continuous functioning of the healthcare system. Increased workload, more patient influx, lack of time to rest during the current situation is putting an extra burden on the nursing community as well. They have to be more cautious about the surroundings as they spend more time with the patients – even covid positive patients where there is a high chance of infection transmission. Many nurses have already tested positive, recovered and are continuing their service to battle the pandemic. However, sometimes the stress they are going through may lead to burn out or other health issues like anxiety, depression or insomnia. Therefore, taking care of the nursing staff becomes crucial to safeguard them from any kind of adverse effects.

The nursing community is the vital link between the patient and the health care team. Hence take a moment to think about their well-being.

  • Acknowledge: Nurses work day and night taking care of the patients. But still, sometimes their work goes unnoticed. Acknowledgement from the patients and the family members can bring cheer to them.
  • Recognition: Their tireless work and the continuous smiling face needs a big applause
  • Avoid criticism: A nurse has to attend to multiple patients in a short span of time. Give them time instead of criticising or blaming them
  • Be empathetic: Nurses are always compassionate about their patients. Let’s show empathy towards them as well. With increasing Covid cases everywhere, while dealing with the patients they may not get time to eat as well. Take time out to ask about their wellbeing.

It is imminent that no healthcare facility is complete without the presence of resilient, skilled and experienced nursing staff. They are the ones generally assisting doctors. Alongside, they are the ones offering solace and relief to patients. They provide timely care to the patients and boost their spirit. This is why they are considered to be the backbone of the healthcare sector.