Nurses face several challenges within the health care industry, even after they pass their exams and earn a license. A segment on "The View" from September 2015 showed two of the program's hosts mocking a beauty pageant contestant's monologue on what she does for a living when she cares for Alzheimer's patients.
Instead of playing the piano, tap-dancing or singing, Miss Colorado Kelley Johnson chose to show her nursing talent. The backlash from the comments from hosts of "The View" demonstrates how much nurses remain underappreciated with respect to the general public and, perhaps, the health care industry. Nurses perform vital functions in hospitals, doctor's offices and other areas, all leading to a higher quality of life in the communities they serve, despite the challenges nurses face as a whole.
Nurse practitioners who graduate into the field help fill gaps due to a doctor shortage. This is especially true in rural areas, where patients may not have access to a doctor or a full range of health care services. Nurses can go out into the field as part of a collaborative team that helps deliver care. The health care industry needs more go-getters and independent thinkers, such as nurses, that serve on the front lines of medicine. Nurses form vital links between patients and providers.
A looming nursing shortage means hospitals and providers need more nurses. The national average of nurses is 792 per 100,000 people. Viable populations need 1,000 nurses per 100,000 people. If this shortage persists for the health care industry, providers and patients alike may see precisely how underappreciated nurses are in America.
Nurses coming into the field can take a stand against workplace bullying in the health care industry. Several reports indicate that older nurses, doctors and managers bully younger and newer employees. This type of behavior is unacceptable, and educational initiatives teach nurses what to do about workplace bullying from peers, co-workers and supervisors.
Palliative care for seriously ill patients remains one important function of nurses. Because these cornerstones of health care develop relationships with patients and families, nursing talent proves helpful in improving palliative care, such as pain management and comfort, as terminally ill patients come close the end of life.
Nurses also provide access to health care for people who may otherwise not see a doctor. Impoverished citizens may not know what services are available to them, and nurses can show people who lack income, housing, education and food security a way to get the help they need.
Nurses improve the lives of not only individuals, but also the community as a whole by showing compassion when people have concerns about their health and well-being. As such, the health care industry should take better care of the people who care for the community.
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