Embark on the journey of Nurses’ Empowerment to enhance the healthcare delivery

Parul Budhraja Khanna

One of the chief assets, critical to patient care and satisfaction, the neglected warriors of our healthcare system are, the nurses! Yes, nurses are not and cannot be the doctors but they don’t need to be.

There’s a reason why nurses represent almost one half of the global health workforce. It’s because they come with their own skillset and strengths which are imperative to patient care.

We need to tap into those competencies and utilize them to the utmost for a more embellished and invigorated healthcare delivery system. The World Health Organization (WHO) and the international council of nurses have been endorsing an initiative called, “Nursing Now Campaign”.

The campaign was launched in February 2018 and will go on until the end of 2020. It aims at highlighting the prominence of nurses, providing them with a sturdier standing for their escalated support towards attaining the universal health coverage.

Furthermore, the campaign intends to ensure that by the end of 2020 the health workforce generally, and nursing plus midwifery in particular, have a far more prominent role in global health policy development and planning. It also aims to promote greater investment in developing nursing and midwifery education, practice and regulation, as well as improving standards and quality of care, in addition to employment conditions.

Entrusting nurses to advocate for enhanced patient care

Nurses makeup for the largest group of healthcare professionals and we’ve reached the stage wherein, we need to invest more in one of our greatest boons. We need to provide them with a greater recognition and voice.

We need to train them and make them well equipped for the provision of high quality patient-centric care. Imbibition of these steps, will play an integral role in the enhancement of our healthcare delivery system. Nurses are at the focal point of determining, the accumulating burden of the non-communicable diseases amongst the masses. They’re the most cardinal constituents of the health teams. They’re closest to the patients and play a critical role in educating the patients as well as their families in disease prevention, treatment and care. They’re effective in communicating and promoting healthy well-being.

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However, WHO estimates that the world will need an additional 9 million nurses and midwives by 2030, if we want to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 3 “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages”. Other than that, it’s essential we place nurses in leadership and policy development roles too, particularly in delivering universal health coverage and addressing current and emerging health problems. We need to make sure that the evidence is made more readily available to policy and decisionmakers on the impact of nursing.

Benefits of Doctors collaborating with nurses

With the ratio of patients to doctors increasing by the day, nurses need to be given a considerable amount of autonomy for patient care. This unique collaboration of doctors and nurses would not only prove prolific for the patients but also to the healthcare institutions. Such a relationship, would aid in patients receiving the utmost satisfaction through a more personalized experience.

This kind of efficiency in service delivery is of critical importance and much needed in today’s scenario of rapidly growing populace and the disease burden parallel to it. The question of competition between the doctors and nurses doesn’t arise here, which makes a lot of institutions apprehensive to adapt this practice. Rather, both sets of individuals come with their unique proficiencies and can lean on each other to understand and add more value to the patient care. This collaboration would possibly yield lowering of overall costs, an upsurge in the compensation for the doctors and nurses, and eminently, would boost the pattern of primary care by solving patient needs. It’d be a win-win situation for all.

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Bridging the gap through professional development to enhance nurses’ sense of empowerment

There’s an evident imparity that has not yet led nurses to believe that they’re enabled. It is through professional development that they can be given the affirmation they need to feel otherwise.

The nurses who are empowered will be able to foster better health outcomes for their patients, they’re more likely to use the work practices effectively for better patient outcomes, they’ll be more committed towards their job resulting in higher level of performance, their positive work behavior will result in positive work environment. The journey of this psychological empowerment of our nurses would involve; building their self-esteem and confidence, evolving their communication skills and conflict resolution, improving their coping mechanisms (so that they don’t feel burned out or disillusioned), and most importantly it’d reinforce their sense of purpose and mission.

A gentle note for the healthcare institutions: – We need to modify our work culture before these measures of empowerment can be fully accomplished. the way we pamper our doctors similarly we need to look after our nurses’ welfare too, considering they have multiple stressors as well. Nurses are the backbone of our healthcare system. If our nurses stand tall and strong, so will our health system. After all, nurses are strong enough to tolerate anything and soft enough to understand everyone.

The writer is an Entrepreneurial Biotechnologist and passionate about creating awareness amongst the masses and steering a tangible change in the healthcare delivery systems.

Email: parulb@hotmail.com

Facebook page: The Health Plug

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