Nursing is a misunderstood profession by those on the outside of the practice. Nurses provide incredible contributions to the healthcare community in a variety of ways. They are often the first point of patient contact, and a saving grace in times of crucial medical emergency. To carry out every single basic function of their operation, hospitals need nurses. Current events in nursing always look to make that role more of a focus in the minds of patients and researchers. In reality, their efforts are insurmountable. Working round the clock, often in long shifts, nurses provide care and expertise essential to keeping patients healthy and alive.
The schooling required for nurses is quite intense. That's true for any medical field of study. Between schooling and on the job experience, nurses are some of the most capable members of the healthcare industry. By taking a look at current events in nursing, we can better understand how their role is always adapting to the needs of patients. Let's take a look at 5 current events in nursing you need to know about.
New Chip Heals Injuries Almost Immediately
In many current events in nursing, the question of caregiving comes up. New technologies are always changing the way that nurses treat patients. Whether the new inventions work or not is one thing. Most tend to make the job of caregiving much more streamlined, and new news of a healing chip is no exception. An issue many nurses face is an influx of patients needing minor to moderate care. This could include things like an injured limb, a cut, or worse instances needing more attention. In many cases, the care is not necessarily difficult, but time consuming. Researchers often look at this relationship between time and difficulty. If something is easy to administer, how do we make it faster and more efficient?
For researchers at Ohio State, a question stood out to them. Can technology do more than simply assist a nurse in their efforts? For example, if a patient enters a hospital with a broken leg, could technology mend that wound and lead them to a road for recovery. It looks like that fantasy is soon becoming a reality via tissue nanotransfection. For starters, the technology needs a bit of explaining. This device can reprogram and grow cells in a matter of minutes, assisting in the healing process. This is a game changer for nursing.
Programming a Path to Recovery
The tests at OSU centered around lab mice with a variety of injuries. The promising thing about this technology is that it worked on an array of ailments, ranging from brain damage to broken limbs. The first case of a living creature healing via chip came in the form of a leg injury. The leg healed fully via tissue reprogramming in three weeks. Of course, this is just mice. But the results, should they translate to humans, could be a huge push forward in caregiving. The goal, as is with any technological advancement, is to make things better in some way. This certainly would achieve that goal.
How much can the chip really do? Well, for one, it works primarily with tissue, meaning any cell of interest is fair game. It's not necessarily ready to tackle infections. With more testing, there's no telling what could happen. For nurses, this could be an easy way to improve care and ensure more patients get on the path to recovery. All it takes is the resources to do so, and we know that can cost a pretty penny.
Improving Chronic Pain Patient Treatment Means More than Medicine
A number of people all over the world suffer from chronic pain. The struggle can begin from any sort of minor or major accident. In some cases, the pain can start seemingly from nowhere. It's heartbreaking, especially in vulnerable populations. Children and elderly patients diagnosed with chronic pain suffer through already formative parts of their life. In most cases, chronic pain is prime for treatment, but not a definite cure.For those suffering from chronic pain, the search for relief leads to quite a few doctor's office visits. Nurses are primarily the first point of contact with these patients. For that reason, it's crucial nurses find a way to handle the situation properly.
An issue surrounding chronic pain is the way it is talked about. Chronic pain is frustrating and tiresome. In many cases, patients understand a solution is not in sight. A recent U.S. Health article talks about the way professionals talk about chronic pain. As we all know, communication surrounding medical care is crucial to patient wellness. For those who do not suffer from chronic pain, it's telling to see what things can make the situation much worse.
Communicating about Chronic Pain
Many of the arguments on the list surround chronic pain's prevalence. For example, the number one pointer offered in the article is to avoid rubbing alcohol in the wound, so to speak. It does no good to remind someone with chronic pain that they are struggling. Nurses benefit most from asking patients how they feel, not assuming. Carelessness in verbiage can really upset patients. Nurses offering patients the advice of taking it easy are often seen as pandering. In a similar vein, noting the patient's looks is often harmful as well. Chronic pain is an invisible struggle. If a patient arrives looking well, it's not necessarily how they feel. Assuming as much can really upset them and their struggle.
Nurses know the best ways to speak with patients. Communication surrounding current events in nursing is often focused on patient wellness. That being said, there is always room for improvement. Compassion is the number one trait of desired nurses and doctors. The feeling of understanding and support is second best to actual medical treatments. For that reason, a focus on communication with chronic pain patients is not narrow in scope. Many of these tips can carry over to patients of other debilitations. For that reason, it's an important review for all involved.
Catching Early Signs of Depression in Patients
Nurses focus on a number of risks each day, especially when dealing with a patient. The ability to care for a present threat, as well as stay cautious for other external worries, is not easy. Nurses are asked to provide care in so many different ways, they are usually the ones closest to a patient. Depression is one of those tough to diagnose threats. It's impressive to see how public the conversation surrounding depression has become. Even 10 years ago, care for patients suffering with depression was limited to just a hospital or medical professional. Now, everyone knows the signs of depression. This is helpful in keeping tabs on friends and family going through struggle. Whether it be emotional, physical, or mental strain, everyone is susceptible to depression in times of need.
How do signs of depression effect nurses? Well, it's becoming a topic of focus for many in the healthcare world. Because nurses are the point of primary care, it's incredibly important to know the basic signs that someone is in danger. A recent study out of Australia looks at this very phenomenon. As with many current events in nursing, the information that comes out of these studies can truly make a big impact on the experience of at-risk patients.
Catching Signs Early to Avoid Further Medical Turmoil
Evidence from the Australian study points to the importance of finding these risks early. Depression can lead to deadly consequences. Nurses, at the forefront of the patient-caregiver relationship, need to know the most common ways to find out if a patient is nearing that threat. The study looked at a number of stress tests, including mental lapses in judgement or cognitive processing, physical delays in reaction time, and pain. More unique situations were also investigated. These included trouble sleeping, lack of emotional or social connections, and overall fitness. In any of these categories, the risk is strong when patients fail to meet requirements of wellness.
The outcome of these events not going addressed is found to cause a major depressive episode. A number of risk factors investigated also were found to lead to deeper threats of depression. Pain and trouble sleeping for example, were signs that a patient was likely feeling depressed. As always, social interactions make a big difference as well. Nurses need to know the warning signs of depression. These easy to follow points of emphasis help assist nurses in accurate diagnosis, or at the very least, the start of an inquiry into the mental wellness of at-risk patients.
Nursing Shortages Threaten Patient Well-Being
Students always hear about the importance of doctors. Humans are always going to need healthcare resources. As the baby boomer generation reaches retirement age, the need for adequate medical professionals will only increase. The needs of hospitals will change as well. Many patients nowadays, for example, are middle-aged, but as the bulk of the adult population rises into their 60s and 70s, the care process changes. So too do the costs. There is not any shortage of need for healthcare in America, but there is a shortage of those who can provide it.
Particularly, a recent survey found hospital administrations concerned about staffing. Two thirds of administrators worried that staffing limited their ability to care for patients. Specifically, the care for late life patients is seen as a risk. The problem runs deep, in a variety of aspects of the job. Primarily, late life care is hard to deal with. Nurses around death are more likely to leave the profession. Turnover within hospitals is already a struggle. To elaborate, the more patients are dying, the tougher the toll is on nurses. Death is a part of life, so how do healthcare professionals deal with the harsh truth?
Caring for Those who Need it Most
Late life patients need the most attention and care. Current events in nursing always focus on at-risk patients. Next to babies, they require the most amount of monitoring as well. That means within a 12 hour shift, nurses in these wards spend a lot of time around death and dying people. Nurses want to help, make no mistake. It's inevitable, however, to feel down about being near death so often. If a family member passes away right after another, it feels defeating.
That's a sliver of the grief nurses feel. The trouble also comes from the need to move on and continue the day. Counseling for nurses is popular, and often provided, by employers. Unfortunately, the grief and stress is sometimes too much to bear. As hospitals face staffing crises around increasing populations of patients, risks to healthcare resources increases as well. More often than not, an understaffed hospital faces more trouble than those with adequate staff.
A few things need to happen. Of course, more nurses are needed, especially for an aging population. The biggest change, however, needs to focus on another type of care. Employee well being is overlooked time and time again. Resources may be available, but not encouraged. The stress to work double shifts and push employees to the limits is unacceptable. Great nurses can push through tough times, but humans have their limits.
AI Algorithms Assist Nursing Infected Patients
AI is a huge booming sector of healthcare. Artificial intelligence is a tool growing in utility each and every year. For that reason, hospitals invest hundreds of thousands of dollars into the technology. It pays off too. For more patient care, AI offers a fast and easy tool for information, assistance, and guidance through major health processes. AI leads current events in nursing, and will continue to do so. In terms of growth of the industry, AI lives to be a bright spot in medical progress. Facing an aging population, AI should help mend the gaps created by older patients. For example, patients who suffer an infection are now being treated using AI.
The tricky thing with infections is diagnosis. Knowing what you're dealing with is half the battle. To assist in the process, researchers created a new algorithm. For too long now, hospital infection outbreaks have cost patients their lives and time. The rise of medicine-resistant infections is growing as well. As you can imagine hospitals lose a lot when infections spread within the building. It's costly to treat patients with infections that do not respond well to medicine. Likewise, the process is time consuming. In some cases, the infections even lead to death. It's tragic, but AI can possibly fix this problem.
Limiting the Threat of Infection via Technology
Algorithms do a ton of things in healthcare today. For example, AI can help detect genetic issues. Programming, among its other benefits, can also sequence DNA on screen in a matter of minutes. AI is now also the key to identifying infections. Researchers working at a private firm wrote a program for hospitals under the threat of infections spreading. As with any medical threat, early identification is key. Ensuring patients health, AI is able to find where an infection might originate. Following this flag, the program seeks to see where other at-risk patients are staying.
From here, the program can come up with the best course of action. Current events in nursing are going to all trend towards AI. The solutions provided by the programs, whether big or small, make a big difference. In many aspects, AI is changing nursing for the better. Hopefully, the future nurses entering the working world will experience less trauma and stress because of it. At the very least, nurses need these technologies to tackle the demands of the job. In a perfect world, infections would not be a threat. That's not the case, however. AI is making it possible to limit their threat.
Nursing is changing, like all medical professions. As technology grows, so do the resources of hospitals and medical care centers. For many, nursing seems like a thankless job. In a lot of ways, it is misunderstood. For the future, nurses ought to know the reality of the job. Keeping up with current events in nursing, as well as medical news in general, is helpful to understanding the profession better. For that reason, it's nice to take time and highlight the amazing changes coming to the world of nursing.