For the assignment, I will criticallydefine the role of an adult nurse. Within the assignment I will explore; therole of the nurse within the field of adult practice, how health and socialcare policy, legislation, ethical issues and professional regulation influencecurrent nursing practice, and how research and evidence-based practice can beapplied to nursing care and clinical decision making. Whilst focusing on the 3 main topicsabove, I will also ensure the assignment meets the learning theory outcomes.
I willachieve this by; identifying the key issues within the evolving profession ofnursing, and explaining the role of the nurse and the influence of policy,legislation and professional regulation on current nursing practice within allcare sectors. For this assignment I will also discuss key ethical issues thatthat can relate to both professional practice and nursing research.The structure of this assignment willfocus mainly on the framework of the 6Cs that underpin Compassion in Practicebut will take ideas from the 4 Themes of The Code for nurses and midwives, andthe 8 Principles of Nursing Practice.Whatis a nurse?A ‘nurse’ can be defined as a varietyof different things. It all depends on how you look at it. To me, a nurse is aperson who is willing to go the extra mile for a patient, a person who will dotheir utmost to ensure that they are given the best care possible. I use theterm care as in looking after someone when they are unwell or unable to lookafter themselves, alongside the physical care they are given there is alsoemotional support. This could be in a number of different ways such as someoneto lean on when they receive terrible news.
But not only is a nurse there tosupport with the bad news, they can also be the bearer of good news. In 2015, Kristina Eriksen of RasmussenCollege released a blog post on the School of Nursing website stating that anurse is not ‘Just a Nurse’. She commented saying “Just a nurse? There’s nosuch thing”. She believes that there are 8 reasons a nurse isn’t just a nurse. Theirrole includes being; an advocate, a bridge builder, a chemical catalyst, aconfidant, a counsellor, an educator, an interpreter, and most importantly a friend.(Eriksen, 2015) 1In my opinion, Rasmussen Collegeperfectly summed up exactly what is expected of someone who aspires to be anurse. It is near to impossible to summarise exactly what is a nurse. This is dueto the fact that there is so much expected of them.
It is constantly changing,people are getting new ideas and old ideas are disregarded. Wanting to knowwhat a nurse is requires constant re-examination and the ability to adapt tothe imagination of what is to come. Florence Nightingale said –”The elementsof nursing are all but unknown”.
(Nightingale, 1859) 2This was taken from her Notes on Nursing: What it isand What it is Not book published in 1859. She wrote this bookwith the intention of giving hints to the people who were the givers of careand what she believed nursing to be. Nightingale stated that the book itself isnot meant to be book of teaching for one’s self but rather a guide as to helpin the teaching of others. Because nursing has progressed over the years, thebook hasn’t recently been used in the teaching of nursing. In the 1974 edition,Joan Quixley stated within her introduction – “The book was the first of its kind ever to be written. It appearedat a time when the simple rules of health were only beginning to be known, whenits topics were of vital importance not only for the well-being and recovery ofpatients, when hospitals were riddled with infection, when nurses were stillmainly regarded as ignorant, uneducated persons. The book has, inevitably, itsplace in the history of nursing, for it was written by the founder of modernnursing”. (Quixley, 1974) 3In my opinion, even though the teaching ofnursing has changed throughout the years the principles stay the same.
Theteaching of nursing must progress with the times. The practice of nursing fromyears ago would not be accepted today, but on the other hand, we would not bewhere we are today with patient care, culture, responsibilities, and training -without it. Whatis the Role of a Nurse? With all the changes in healthcare overthe years, a nurse has a number of roles that they must perform, however therole of the nurse has expanded. As the role of a carer, the nurse must providea variety of different care. This includes physical needs, which can range fromcomplete care, to helping a patient with illness prevention. A nurse must alsoaddress the cultural, developmental, psychological, spiritual needs of thepatient.
Another role the nurse must undertakeis being a communicator. Any barriers to effective communication can preventthe healing process. It is the nurses role to communicate between the patientand family members as well as the other health care staff.
It is also crucialfor the nurse to ensure written communication is carried out, this could bepatient notes or handover documents. It is essential that nurses have goodcommunication as it will ensure the patient feels at ease. Peplau’s development model of nursingstates that a nurse will adopt one of 6 roles.
(Peplau 2005) 5 Thefirst is a stranger. The nurse maytake on the role of a stranger, the client is greeted in the same way as theywould meet a stranger in real life situation. This provides an accepting atmospherethat builds trust between the patient and nurse.
The second role a nurse mayportray is the role of a teacher.They will convey knowledge in reference to a need or interest. The third rolethey may take on is the resource person. They will provide a specificpiece of information that assists in the understanding of a problem or newsituation. The fourth role a nurse may initiate is a counsellor. They will help to understand and assimilate the meaningof life changing occurrences, provide guidance, and possible encouragement tomake changes within their lives. The fifth and penultimate role is a surrogate. They will help to define certaindomains of dependence interdependence and independence.
They may also act onbehalf of the patient as a counsel. The sixth and last role the nurse may adoptis a leader. They might help thepatient with accepting responsibility for meeting personal goals. Whatis expected from a nurse?If feel, there are many aspects thatare expected from a nurse. There are certain things that must be done in acertain way. A nurse must ensure that a certain level of care is given to apatient, whilst also caring for 5-8 other patients.
Whilst doing their jobsthey have been allocated, they must ensure that the families of the patientsare being kept informed of everything that is happening. Throughout the day, the job of a nursedoes not decline. Depending on where the nurse is based they will havedifferent schedules. On a ward the first task a nurse must carry out is’handover’. During this, they must get every piece of information that happenedon the shift before. Any information that is supressed could reduce a necessarylevel of care.
Within a morning shift, after the handover would be medication.This is an imperative part of the day and some of the medication is what helpskeep the patients alive. If the nurse was to administer the wrong medication,there would be serious consequences. There is a lot of pressure that comes withthe job of administering medication. Medication management is an important role,the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) released an article in 2007 (updated in2010) with the standards that are required of a nurse within this role. Theywrote – “The administration of medicines isan important aspect of the professional practice of persons whose names are onthe Council’s register.
It is not solely a mechanistic task to be performed instrict compliance with the written prescription of a medical practitioner (cannow also be an independent and supplementary prescriber). It requires thoughtand the exercise of professional judgement…” (NMC, 2010) 6Thebooklet provides the minimum standard by which practice should be managed andwill provide the framework for practice to be moderated. There are many theories that are thebasis of nursing care models.
These are what is expected in nursing care whichare the essential factors, which over time are developed into the nursingmodels we use today. (Catledine & Close, 2009) 7AdvocacyAdvocacy can take on many shapes innursing. The way it’s used is often in a legitimate way as for someone to representanother. Within nursing, the term is used to describe a nurse who stands up fortheir patient or will represent them when they need help.
An advocate will actaccordingly with the patients best interests in mind, they may act as apatients spokesperson to protect them from harm, always promote the patientswishes and freedom from suffering, and will only represent the patient when itis appropriate within their recovery. Most times, being an advocate for thepatient may only be that they are there to ensure patients receive ample painmedication, checking the patient understands what is happening amidst theirtreatment, and providing adequate knowledge so that they may make informed decisions,whilst supporting those decisions.CareThe term ‘care’ is used as in a nursesactions and activities that are performed to benefit and gratify the patientduring recovery. This is all done to lead them to a place of completeindependency. Care can be displayed, not only in the practical side but alsothe fundamental side such as bathing, dressing, feeding, grooming, and turninga patient.ComfortComfort consists of emotional,environmental, physical, psychological, and social. Comfort can be achieved bycarrying out regular turns within the bed, or being transferred from bed tochair or vice versa.
Whilst these comfort breaks are being carried out, roughlyevery 2 hours, a nurse would check the skin for pressure marks. This would alsogive the patient the opportunity to raise any concerns or to have aconversation with someone for peace of mind. During this time any personal carethat needs to be addressed can be carried out, this could include oral care,remaking the bed, and possibly assisting with eating and drinking. In myopinion, this is one of the most important parts of the day as it allows thenurse and patient a chance to get acquainted as they will be within eachother’s company for the next 12 hours.
In my experience, during those first 20minutes, I have managed to understand what my patient is like and how they liketo be treated. I have then followed through with the same level of carethroughout the day, establishing a connection of trust between myself and thepatient. CompassionCompassion is such a crucial elementwithin nursing, it is one of “nursing’s most precious assets” (Schantz, 2007) 8 The6 C’s within nursingThe 6 C’s can be related to what anurse is through all aspects. A nurse must be caring, compassionate,communicational, courageous, committed, and competent. A caring nurse is themost crucial team member.
In most cases a nurse is the first person they aregreeted with on a ward or on home visits. It is important that the patient andtheir families are made to feel welcome and safe. Throughout the admission ofthe patient or the length of the home visit, the nurse must maintain a certainlevel of care, they can’t let it waver or the care the patients receive may becompromised.