Healthcare is a broad that comprises of different areas of specialization. There is the field of medicine, pharmacy, chiropractic and nursing practice among many others. People, from ancient times till today, rely heavily on health care for treatment and handling of their diverse health issues. In the past, health care occurred as a single service with little definition of different as it is in the modern cultures. This, in essence, means that the entire system of health care has undergone a number of transformations as people strive to find effective ways of safeguarding human health, and the health of other animals. This paper explores nursing care as an essential aspect of health care in terms of history, nature and the current developments in this profession.
Since the beginnings of time, different cultures, diverse societies have shaped the nursing profession in many different ways, and the changes within the societies. The term nursing comes from the Latin word “nutricius”, which means to nourish. Thus, in the ancient times, people viewed nursing as a serious role of taking care for the family. It did not have the regard of a profession as it is in the present times.
In the long, global history of nursing, one can trace the roots of this profession to mythology, religion, and Western and Eastern cultures. The ancient Egyptians could have utilized the first formal nurses. They hired them to give aid to pregnant women during childbirth. As a result, midwives started emerging as indispensable people among the sick, especially expectant mothers.
Among Romans and Greeks, there were strong beliefs that goddesses and gods had influential powers in the healing process of sick persons. There existed a deity for practically each human biological function. In such settings, women of the famous family, Asklepios, were mythological nurses. There are also records in the history of nursing which recognize Hygeia as the goddess of health. In addition, Roman noble women took care of the ailing persons in the society. In some other cultures, unfortunately, the care of those in poor health was a task of the prostitutes because it was not a respected responsibility.
After some time, during the middle ages, the profession of nursing became a responsibility of the religious people. The church, especially, took a central part in taking care of the sick. Therefore, nursing became a function of the church. In most cultures, gender played a significant role in nursing care. People of the same gender offered to nurse one another. In other words, male nurses would only take care of a male patient while female nurses had the only mandate of offering their services to their female colleagues (Afaf 2011). Things are different now. A nurse can take care of anyone as long as he or she has the relevant qualifications.
Statistically, war has been one of the influential factors in the evolutionary process of nursing care. Traditionally, wars acted as the major causes of harm and injuries to people. This, historically, necessitated more nursing care than any other force. Florence Nightingale is world-famous for her highly effective role in impacting the nursing care. She wrote many papers and books on nursing care. Besides, she initiated and took part in the development of hygiene, saving the lives of many fighters during wars. Her experiences with wars prompted her, and other like-minded persons, to come up formal theories plus training centers for nursing practitioners. Through her efforts, the nursing profession began to rise sharply as a recognized profession (Nightingale 1860).
Even today, the practice of nursing continues to advance. It still continues to attain the shape of a body of science and has made significant proficient strides from the time of its inception. The history of nursing care shows that nurses have taken their prominent place in society. With current surges in human population, and increase in diseases, there is more necessity for nursing than any other moment in history.
In the past, and even today, a person working as a nurse elicits the feeling of purity, respect of life and care for the suffering. People, originally, took up the position of a nurse usually because of their urge to help the sick in society. They empathized with sick and dedicated their time to helping them. During the present times, people view this as a way of entering in the job market as long as they acquire the necessary. Essentially, this is a profession in which people enter with the intention of making a living.
Nurses have different responsibilities tasks to perform in respect of their service to the sick. As a result, the profession follows certain guidelines and procedures to ensure delivery according to required standards. There are laws and different legislation that govern the entire health care system, in which nursing care is a part. In most countries, governments oversee the practice of nursing care through funding, regulation and training. As a profession, which deals directly with human life, nursing care must have high standards for all practitioners to meet in order to be effective in their areas of mandate.
As a nurse, one has the task of giving care to those in need. Usually, sick people need both psychological and physical care. In performing this role, nurses assist the patient while preserving his or her dignity. In addition, a nurse acts as a communicator. They must identify patients’ issues and effectively communicate them to relevant persons within the health care system and outside. Furthermore, a nurse offers counseling services to people who may have emotional, social, mental and psychological to a certain extent. Another role of a nurse is to act as an agent of change, whereby they cause behavioral changes in patients and the health care system if that improves care for the clients (the sick). Besides, nurses perform the task of teachers by helping patients understand their problems how well to handle their health issues. These are just a few of the functions and roles that nurses have to perform. One needs full commitment and a good heart to handle such serious responsibilities (Faulkner 1996).
In order to practice as a nurse, one must under rigorous training and merit through demonstrated excellence in required areas of the profession. In most cases, nurses undertake nursing trainings in training centers for some time in preparation for the task. In such centers, the training is usually basic and allows the nurse to handle minor health issues. In order to handle complex matters, a nurse needs to undertake advanced training. For instance, not all nurses manage to enter emergency rooms because their experience and level of qualification cannot allow them to deal with cases inside an emergency room. It is only a nurse with demonstrated skills and experience who enters an emergency room.
There are different for different in the profession of nursing care depending on the level of proficiency and experience. In order to handle matters of critical care nursing, one needs to advance their knowledge through learning. To do this, many nurses have resorted to advanced learning in nursing schools within colleges and universities all around the world. As a result, the doctor of nursing practice is vital in allowing one delve deep into refined details of the profession that lack in normal nursing training courses lack. Becoming a Doctor of Nursing Practice is an opportunity to advance knowledge through research. It also helps one to get a clear understanding of the issues that nursing care handles deeply. This is in order for one to offer quality work because of vast experience and immense knowledge of patient issues in nursing care. It is also a chance to deal with cases of large magnitude, which every profession would be glad doing in their area of specialty.
In efforts to improve nursing care, technology has found its way into the profession’s operational environment. Most traditional ways of handling matters have become obsolete because of the power of computers. Automation of many procedures and use of information systems to handle information has had a great impact in the whole field of nursing care.
In the modern world, use of technology has profoundly minimized fear of excessive bleeding during surgical procedures, thanks to the adoption of computers for handling most of the critical procedures during the exercise. Technology introduced cautery for immediately controlling loss of blood loss during surgical procedures. The use of robotics and laparoscopy results in small puncture sites as compared to large surgical incisions that nurses have to perform manually. In addition, anesthesia techniques have gone through a complete metamorphosis. Presently, there are more effective anesthesia delivery systems than what used to happen in the past. The new techniques are safer than the traditional ways. A shift from glass thermometers to digital thermometers offers more hygienic and accurate ways of checking the body temperature of a patient. In addition, different body scans have propelled critical care nursing to where it is today. In addition, computers have become the leading tools for information storage about patients as well the entire health care system. The relevant records can safely and effectively stay in computer storage devices, offering ease of accessibility to information about necessary records as compared to manual means that were handy in most cases, in the past. The above are a few of the examples of the numerous merits that presents to the practice of nursing (Saga 2008).
In conclusion, nursing care is a crucial aspect of health care. It has existed since the beginning of time till today and shall be there to the end of time. The profession has undergone remarkable transformations and a lot of such changes will still take place, today and in the future. Appreciation and adoption of technology has had a lot of positive influence and yielded fruits in the profession of nursing. The future of nursing care appears to be better than it with the technological advances taking place every day.