When most people think of nurses, their minds immediately conjure images of hospitals, emergency rooms, and operating tables. While this is reflective of some aspects of nursing — it’s far from the entire picture.
Nurses come in many shapes and sizes, offering varying expertise, specialized knowledge, and abilities. Familiarizing yourself with the many alternative nursing roles and how nurses in these fields can aid people in living a healthy and balanced life is vital to gaining a more complete understanding of healthcare.
Here is how a nurse aid can affect everyday health.
While they’re rarely mentioned in public discourse about healthcare, nurse educators play an invaluable role in promoting healthy habits in the general public. One way they do this is through the training of future nurses and medical workers. Without robust and effective guidance and training, nurses wouldn’t have the necessary skills to truly help patients live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Another keyway that nurse educators affect the everyday health of patients — though it is rarely talked about — is through patient education. Nurse educators play a vital role in instructing patients on how to engage in healthy habits that promote good health and longevity.
One key facet of educating patients is self-management strategies. In essence, these are tools and practices that patients can utilize to ensure that they’re consistently experiencing optimal health outcomes. These can include disease prevention strategies, which involves practices such as regular screenings, and the promotion of healthy behaviors, such as consistent exercise and the cessation of tobacco use.
Imparting patients with the skills and knowledge necessary to keep themselves healthy plays an important role in promoting their everyday health. Consequently, it’s clear that nurse educators play an indispensable role in promoting public health and helping individuals effectively care for themselves.
As we delve deeper into the future, it’s becoming more and more evident that eating habits can have a profound effect on your health. Unfortunately, many people lack a significant understanding of the substantial effects that eating has on their bodies. Fortunately, nutritionists play an integral part in helping patients understand eating habits and how they affect the body.
Put simply, nutritionists are medical professionals whose job is to help individuals understand nutrition and how it affects them. Typically, their duties involve helping patients assess their diets and plan healthier diets to achieve better health outcomes. In some cases, nutritionists assist patients with specific illnesses develop diets that are optimal for managing their conditions.
Some common suggestions that nutritionists might give their patients include sustainable eating practices, weight management tips, and meal planning advice. While there are some general rules for healthy eating that most people should engage in, nutritionists are able to assess patients and provide them with unique advice that suits their idiosyncratic needs. In this way, nutritionists play an important role in helping patients understand their own bodies and how to act in ways that promote personal health.
Ultimately, nutritionists are able to help their patients and clients develop eating habits that help them live better and more enjoyable lives. As time goes on, it’s likely that more people will understand the value of consulting professionals with this expertise and regularly seeing a nutritionist will become a common practice for everyone.
Holistic Care in Nursing
For decades, the pervading sentiment in Western healthcare was that solely treating specific physical ailments was the only role of healthcare providers. This attitude meant that medical professionals ignored or discounted other factors in patients’ lives, such as emotional distress or environmental issues, that could be contributing to poor health outcomes.
Over the last several decades, however, these ideas have slowly begun to change. In particular, many healthcare professionals — especially nurses — have now begun to take a more holistic view to providing care. Put simply, holistic care means that one aims to look at a person as a whole when treating them. In other words, it involves looking deeply into the interrelation of patients’ physical health, mental health, emotional wellbeing, and spiritual status.
As it pertains to nursing, a holistic practice involves reaching beyond traditional nursing duties and assessing all of a patient’s needs. In practice, this can involve a nurse trying to understand what is affecting patients mentally in addition to their physical symptoms.
Some common aims that nurses take a holistic approach try to help patients achieve include balance in their lives, a healthy living and working environment, and state of emotional well-being.
Other less conventional holistic treatments that nurses can engage in include energy therapy, such as Reiki therapy, which aim to help patients channel their energy effectively. Fundamentally, nurses taking a holistic approach help their patients heal in every part of their lives. In this way, holistic nurses can play a compelling role in helping patients truly heal in ways that affect how they experience life.
Though most people don’t generally associate nurses with research, nurse researchers actually play an integral role in clinical research. The findings yielded by studies that nurse research help conduct have the potential to uncover new findings that can change the way the public understands health.
Much like many people in the early twentieth century were unaware that tobacco use is incredibly damaging to human health, there are likely some common practices that we are currently unaware are actually harming us. Fortunately, nurse research helps to design, conduct, and analyze studies that can have a tremendous impact on public health by uncovering these health deterrents.
In addition to clinical trials that focus on certain behaviors and treatments, nurse researchers also research topics revolving around health disparities and the social determinants of health. This research has the potential to illuminate key factors that uniquely and disproportionately affect certain portions of the population. By uncovering and disseminating findings of this nature, nurse researchers can help the public change certain behaviors and achieve better health outcomes.
While they aren’t typically heralded in public discourse as important professionals whose work impacts the public, the findings of these unsung heroes can have a tremendous impact on public health. This being the case, it’s clear that nurse research can have an acute effect on the everyday health of masses of individuals across the country.
Nursing Is a Broad and Robust Field
In spite of misconceptions that bedside nurses are the only types of nurses out there, nurses can work in a variety of unique fields and provide different forms of specialized knowledge and expertise. From nurse educators helping to instruct patients on healthy habits to nutritionists helping patients better understand their own bodies, nurses play a key role in boosting everyday health.
As time goes on, it’s likely that nurses will evolve and advance to occupy new roles that continue to beneficially impact the everyday health of the patients they serve.