What would be your answer to the question, what is nursing care? You can define nursing care as the support provided by a trained nursing specialist overseen by a registered clinical nurse. Nursing Leaders provide nursing care because it is complex. Our nursing care definition involves caring for people from different communities, families, ages, sicknesses, races, etc.
In this article, we will give more detailed information on nursing care and help you as a student confidently answer questions like, “What do you mean by nursing care?” Give the type of nursing care, state the importance and examples of nursing care, and to whom it is provided. Contact our customer support team for assistance if you have any questions.
Importance of Nursing Care
Why is nursing care important? Most of the time, patients and families might feel vulnerable and stressed. That is when nursing care comes in handy. Nursing care includes:
- Providing emotional support.
- Oral care.
- Surveillance of patients’ general performance.
- Helping with exercises.
- Ensuring patient hygiene.
- Monitoring fluid intake and output.
Nursing care helps to speed up the healing process, enabling the patients to leave the hospital soon and with no complications, hence patient satisfaction.
Who is nursing care for? Nursing care is provided to patients of all ages, groups, or communities in hospitals, community homes, nursing homes, their families, and caregivers.
The Role of Nursing Care
What is the role of nursing care? It is a question that many nursing students ask on their search engines. We can define it as registered nurses’ duties to help the ill, prevent sickness, care for critically sick or incapacitated patients or promote health. These roles help to strengthen, mobilize and make up for shortages in self-care capacities.
For terminally ill patients, nursing care helps them live the last moments of their lives while receiving specialized support like comfort, relief of pain, answers to questions they or their family ask, guidance, emotional support, and their needs attended. Here are some categories of roles in nurse care.
Patient education and support
To the best of their ability, nurses must understand nursing care to ensure that patients understand their illnesses, medications, treatments, and health. That is vital because once released from the hospital, many patients continue with their treatment and should be able to care for themselves at home.
The nurse must explain to the patient, caregiver, or family the seriousness of the illness, possible dangers that might arise, and what to do about it. It is the responsibility of the nurses to answer all questions the patient asks truthfully.
Before leaving the hospital, the nurses should advise patients on diets by offering meal and exercise plans and referring them to resources, classes, or other services.
Nurses represent patients during policy-making by advocating for their legal, medical, and human rights. The nurses support patients by explaining the available treatment options and helping them choose what is best.
The nurses emotionally support patients, caregivers, and families through counselling and therapy. They listen to and support patients’ needs, prepare them psychologically for treatment, and assure their well-being.
Planning of care
The nurses are directly involved in determining the treatment choices for their patients. That is why they need to be keen when assessing patient illness symptoms and identifying possible causes to make accurate decisions on medication.
Physicians and nurse practitioners are involved in making final decisions on treatment plans. Still, nurses play a crucial role because they interact more with the patient and monitor their vitals, signs, and symptoms. Thus, nurses play a vital role in promoting optimal patient health outcomes.
The primary role of a nurse is to prevent illness, attend to the patient’s physical needs, and treat and monitor their health conditions. To perform this role, they should regularly observe and monitor the patient’s health progress and record all the relevant information to help decide the treatment plan for the patient.
The nurse’s role is to pay attention to the patient’s response to their treatments. Nurses report any arising issues, especially emergency cases, to the clinical physician.
Nurses monitor vitals, carry diagnostic tests, administer medication, attend to injuries, record patient medical histories, perform frequent medical examinations, and admit and discharge patients on physician’s orders.
The nurse ensures patient comfort throughout treatment and follows the patient’s progress. The nurse’s role is to respect and act according to the patient’s needs for their best interest.
Skilled nursing care
What is skilled nursing care? It is defined as the patient’s need for treatment that a registered nurse can only provide in a nursing home, hospital, living communities for the terminally ill or aged, and other licensed institutions.
Types of skilled nursing care
Suppose a patient has been diagnosed with a neurological condition, spinal injury, brain injury, cancer, muscular dystrophy, stroke, or a motor neuron disease. In that case, they are taken to a skilled nursing care institution after being released.
Here are the different types of skilled nursing care in these rehabilitation institutions.
- Occupational therapy: This nursing care helps patients adapt to physical and social environments. That can be performed through memory training, lessons for getting dressed, or coordinated exercises.
- Wound care: Skilled nursing involves cleaning, treating, dressing, and managing wounds that burn, ostomies, ulcers on the skin, lacerations, or animal bites might have caused.
- Speech therapy: The nurses help patients with communication problems learn alternative communication strategies such as word games, reading out loud, smiling, and lips puckering.
- Physical therapy: The skilled nurses help the aged group and patients affected by illness, disability, or injuries through exercises and movement. They advise and educate them on managing pain and general self-care.
- Monitoring of vital signs and medical equipment and injections: Patients in nursing homes require the services of skilled nurses who can monitor their vitals, such as pulse rates, and medical equipment, and administer injections.
Modes of Nursing Care
How nursing care is arranged or offered depends on the philosophy of the client population, nurse staffing, and the organization of the nursing sector. As a nursing student, you need to be able to answer questions like, What are the three types of nursing care?
This is where the registered nurse is allocated as a leader of the nurses attending to specific patients. Each team member is assigned activities according to their area of specialization.
This kind of modality of nursing care helps skilled nurses to maximize their skills; hence the level of job satisfaction is high. If there is a lack of commitment and team spirit, the patient care exercise may be unsuccessful.
This is a strategy where a particular nursing function is assigned to each staff member. The bedside nurse, treatment nurse, and medication nurse are all products of this system. This is a very efficient method to deliver care because nurses do what the tasks they are capable of and hence can provide a lot within a short period.
In this kind of modality, a primary care nurse offers service to her patients as long as they remain in her primary care unit. The primary care nurse is assisted by an associate nurse who cares for the patient in the primary nurse’s absence.
The associate nurse follows the Primary nurse’s individualized plan of care. In the primary nursing model, authority and responsibilities are placed with each nurse staff in the facility.
Examples of Everyday Nursing Care Activities
What is an example of nursing care? When nurses are on duty, they perform various care as part of their everyday routine. Here are some of the services nurses offer during their work duties.
- Position changes
For patients who spend a lot of their time in bed and can barely move, the nurses help to change the resting position from time to time to prevent the patient from getting bedsores.
- Pain control
Nurses are constantly reminded of what nursing care is during their everyday duty. When managing pain, nurses ensure that the patient is well-rested and comfortable. They administer injections to ease the pain as scheduled and give patients oral medicine on time.
- Cluster care
When attending to the patient, the nurse will ensure that at no moment will the room be overcrowded. The nurse schedules the family visiting hours and ensures that other caregivers attend to the patients in shifts.
- Adequate oral intake:
The nurse plans meals for the patient and provides them. They ensure that the patients are well-fed before they rest or take medication.
- Active listening
Engaging with patients and listening to them is an example of nursing care. Patients, especially those whose families are not visiting, need someone to talk to. That can help to lower their frustrations. It can also help the nurse learn the medical history of the patient.
- Fall prevention
The nurse assists during movement or exercises, mostly for post-surgery recoveries or older people. The nurse provides a guide to prevent the risk of falling.
Nurse care enables nurses to establish a healthy nurse-patient relationship. Involving the patient in their treatment decisions, protecting their privacy, listening to them, and attending to their needs promotes trust and openness, hence can aid in determining the patient’s treatment plan.
As a nursing student, understanding and having the ability to answer the question, “What is nursing care?” is important because your career will mostly revolve around providing care to patients.