This is an all too familiar picture for any of us who have had to call upon the services of a nurse. That vision in white (nowadays it could be any colour!) who with patience, commitment, dedication and highly trained skills, continues the job of healing and caring after the doctors and surgeons have handed over the patients to them

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It was Florence Nightingale, the British social reformer and founder of modern
nursing, who established nursing as an honourable profession, thus becoming an icon of Victorian culture and values. And transforming the role of nurses – forever!

According to Wiki, “Nursing is a profession within the health care sector focused on the care of individuals, families, and communities so they may attain, maintain, or recover optimal health and quality of life. Nurses may be differentiated from other health care providers by their approach to patient care, training, and scope of practice. Nurses practice in many specialties with differing levels of prescription authority.”

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), “Nurses and midwives comprise the largest portion of the health workforce in most countries. They deliver core services at all levels of the health system and across the continuum of care to promote health, improve patient care, service delivery and health outcomes.” In fact, the critical role played by nurses can be gauged by the theme for 2018 International Nurses Day – A voice to lead: Health is a human right.

Many nurses offer support and clinical care under the jurisdiction of physicians – a traditional role that has shaped the public image of nurses as care providers. However, nurses are allowed, by most jurisdictions, to practice independently in a number of situations and settings.

Given this all-pervasive and critical role played by nurses, quality education and training is of supreme importance in growing this vital healthcare sector. As is evident by the support WHO offers its Member States, in their efforts to provide high quality and easily accessible health care services by, recommending quote/unquote:

  • supporting the development, implementation and evaluation of nursing and midwifery practice models to meet changing population health needs
  • providing technical guidance and facilitating actions to improve the quality and relevance of nursing and midwifery education
  • building the research capacities of nurses and midwives to contribute to the evidence-base for practice
  • strengthening nursing and midwifery capacities to influence policy and regulatory development for the provision of high quality, safe care

The overwhelming need for caring and compassionate nursing services
More and more patients need professional medical services and home nursing when they return home after surgery or a serious illness. Professional home care nursing services include a broad range of care and support services for individuals recovering from a hospital stay, the disabled, the chronically or terminally-ill. Patients who need medical, nursing, social, or therapeutic treatment or help with the essential activities of daily living. Keeping patients at home is an important goal of a home healthcare nurse. Patients recover much better, and faster, at home as the risk of infection decreases and chances of readmission to the hospital are also minimized.

Who needs home health care?

  • Older people who have ongoing health problems, but who want to maintain their independence in their homes with support from professional nursing attendants
  • Patients who return home after surgery, needing care, supervision and assistance
  • Patients who are undergoing complicated treatment that requires the use of medical equipment and/or medication monitoring
  • Adult children who want their parents to have quality elder care at home
  • People suffering chronic diseases and disabilities, such as dementia, heart failure, kidney disease, or diabetes, who need careful monitoring and supervision but do not want to enter a nursing home or palliative care facility

The importance of training and quality education
Education and learning is a continuous, if not lifelong, process. This is especially true of today’s fast-changing health care environment. Medical advances, technological innovations, clinical and scientific progress compels healthcare practitioners to keep abreast of all the latest in information and practices in the healthcare industry. A commitment to invest in training programs on the cutting-edge of new protocols and technologies is of the utmost importance.

It is imperative that health care professionals receive all the educational and training resources they require, to be their best. Supporting and encouraging physicians, nurses, clinical care specialists, aides and attendants, and allied health care professionals to take advantage of the opportunities offered to them, to enhance their skills and expertise, is a given.

As per WHO, which encourages member states “in their efforts to provide high quality and easily accessible health care services”, healthcare providers should take the lead in offering medical and nursing staff with industry-leading, ongoing training to advance their clinical management skills. It is vital that healthcare professionals gain hands-on experience, and practice high-tech and complex care skills. Training curriculum and other specialty practices build confidence, ensuring that nursing staff, confidently and expertly, deliver quality care at home. The important role played by nurses can never be under-estimated in our daily lives…whether we need them or not.

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