Roles and responsibilites in the healthcare industry
Healthcare professional is an organization or person(s), who delivers proper healthcare to any individual who is need of health care services. Today’s healthcare industry is considered to be one of the largest industries in the world. Currently the health care industry includes thousands and thousands of hospitals and institutions which provide primary, secondary and tertiary care. To deliver this, the industry needs healthcare workers and amongst these the largest number of workers seems to be nurses who are always busy in providing care to each and every patient.
A nurse’s job is very demanding as it is a very physical and challenging profession. Health care professionals include physicians,dentists,physicians assistant, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmaconomists/pharmacists, therapists, psychologists, chiropractors, physical therapists, optometrists, paramedics and a wide variety of other individuals regulated and/or licensed to provide some type of health care.
The desire to be a nurse originated in one’s self from an early age when I knew that I always wanted to help others in some way. I first noticed and actually became fascinated with the nursing profession when I used to frequently visit the hospitals and had treatment there myself. This gave me first hand contact with nurses and I actually got to see for myself how they operate on a daily basis and what their role entails. I have found that one needs to be very compassionate and I felt that this is a necessary quality needed in nurses as I saw for myself. It takes a special type of person to be a nurse as it is a job where a lot of skills are needed and used on a daily basis. A lot of the times nurses have to put up with patients that are uncooperative, sometimes they are even abusive, yet the nurse still manages to treat the patient(s) with the same amount of dignity and care. In the time I spent observing these healthcare professionals I noticed that sometimes there actions go unpraised and yet the nurses still seemed unfazed by this and carry on with their daily tasks with the utmost professionalism. Having witnessed this first hand, my ambition to become a nurse became stronger and it made me more determined.
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The roles and responsibilities of nurses are many and can be varied pending on the actual role. In basic terms they are responsible for the treatment and recovery of sick and injured patients. They are also involved in health maintenance and treating people in life threatening situations. They do this across all their specialities and different work settings. Nurses assess and treat patients as well as carry out procedures under the instruction of doctors and collaborate with other healthcare professionals. They will often coordinate the work of others involved in patient care such as doctors, other nurses, therapists and also liaise with the patient’s family. Another responsibility is to ensure that they protect the patient by ensuring a healthy and safe environment free from infection. They educate a patient and they’re family on any health issues and by doing this it gives the patient the best possible chance of recovery and helps with ongoing good health. Nurses also give grief counselling to family members of patients who are critically ill or who have died where necessary. Patients are the main responsibility of nurses and this is a 24 hour a day job and this includes making sure the patient can breathe properly and is hydrated and that they get sufficient rest. Their responsibilities might include tasks sometimes performed by doctors. While a doctor will usually conduct the surgery the nurse usually arranges intravenous therapy. They will usually set up an intravenous drip and provide the fluids and drugs needed. They will also administer the patient with an injection if required. Changing the patients dressing and monitoring the progress of the patient lies with the nurse. Monitoring a patient’s vital signs is a big responsibility for a nurse. They are also responsible for the accurate keeping of records. Accurate records are all aspects that are taken and might include medical history, symptoms, what the patient has eaten or drunk, medication, pulse, temperature, blood pressure, bowel movements and any visits by specialists etc. In some communities where doctors are few, the nurse will diagnose and treat basic illnesses, prescribe medication and conduct minor surgery. Nurses may conduct immunisation clinics, health screening, blood drives and seminars on health issues. Health promotion has become an increasingly important role where nurses educate and assist patients and the public to maintain a healthy lifestyle and diet. Nurses even sometimes have to visit patients in their own homes and provide similar care to that in hospitals. They will assess the home environment and care for, and give advice to the patient and their family.
The code of conduct is there to protect both medical staff and patients. As it clearly sets out the guidelines under which the staff should act upon. At the beginning the conduct clearly states that a person should act professionally as they are always accountable for their own actions and omissions. From this we can see that it already tells the medical staff how they should operate at all times and that there should not be any room for error in their judgements. It also protects them from any unruly patients. The other main points of the conduct from which they can gather information and should always adhere to are:- Subsection 1: that you make the care of people your first concern and that you should treat them as individuals and respect their dignity. Subsection 2: Work with others to protect and promote the health and wellbeing of those in your care, their families and carers, and the wider community. Subsection 3: Provide a high standard of practice and care at all times. Subsection 4: Be open and honest, act with integrity and uphold the reputation of your profession. From these rules, medical staff can get the guidance needed to help them perform their roles with ease and without any complications. If they adhere to these regulations it will always safeguard them from any actions that may arise from patients. For example when a patient that has been treated by them and feels that they did not get treated properly tries to take them to court to pursue any libel action, they would be protected if they followed the code of conduct and acted appropriately.
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A drunken driver rams his pickup truck into a stationary car, injuring a 55 year old Jehovah’s Witness woman who was behind the wheel of that car. She was then admitted into hospital with severe injuries, meaning that she was in need of an operation to save her life. Whilst having the operation it would mean that she would have to undergo a blood transfusion. As a nurse was preparing her for surgery she noticed a dated and signed card in her wallet that stated “that she was a Jehovah’s Witness and did not want to receive any blood transfusions under any circumstances”. Having found this, the nurse now faced a moral and ethical dilemma because under the NMC’s code of conduct it states that one must ensure that they gain the consent of a patient before any treatment is administered. On one hand the nurse knew that without the blood transfusion the patient would not survive. Yet if she were to go ahead and administer the blood transfusion it would go against the persons religious belief and what the code of conduct states. As the nurse did not know what to do she consulted a senor nurse in charge and asked her whether they should go ahead against the wishes of the patient and save her or follow the code of conduct down to the last word and let her be due to her religious beliefs? The senior nurse then told the nurse that their hands were tied due to fact that they could not proceed if a person does not give their consent to any treatment no matter how badly they are in need of it. A Jehovah’s Witness cannot accept a blood transfusion as it would make them an outcast from their faith. Even though they both knew that without the transfusion the women would not survive long they were still bound by the code of conduct. So now they were both in a moral and ethical quandary as they were debating on what they should do?
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