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The Vital Role of Nurses

Nurse do extraordinary work in promoting patient safety. We often think about the important role that physicians and surgeons play in providing life-saving treatment to patients in hospitals and other healthcare settings in Western North Carolina and Upstate South Carolina and across the country, but nurses also play an extremely important role.

According to an article from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, nurses are essential to improving patient safety in all aspects of American healthcare and to improving medical safety more generally.

More Nurse Leadership Could Mean Improved Patient Safety

According to the article posted by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), if we want to improve American healthcare and to increase patient safety by preventing medical errors, then we need to give nurses bigger leadership roles in hospitals and physician’s offices. As the article explains, a recent RWJF Initiative on the Future of Nursing released a report with recommendations for improving medical safety. One of the most notable recommendations was that “nurses should be full partners, with physicians and other health care professionals, in redesigning health care in the United States.”

The article emphasizes that, by giving nurses more substantial leadership roles in the medical community, those nurses would be empowered “at all levels to contribute to improvements in patient safety” and to develop “nurse-led research into ways to improve the quality of care.” The report underscores just how essential nurses are, as well as the services they provide.

What Do Nurses Do for Patients?

Nurses provide so many different levels of care to patients, from those visiting a doctor’s office for a routine visit to patients obtaining or recovering from high-risk surgeries in hospitals. Nurses do all of this while risking serious injuries themselves on the job and working extremely long shifts in stressful environments, according to a report from the Patient Safety Network.

As that report clarifies, one of the most valuable ways that nurses contribute to patient safety is by providing “vigilance at the bedside” of patients. Nurses regularly check on patients to ensure that they are receiving the medications they need, that they are not experiencing adverse effects from a treatment or prescription drug, and that they are generally contented. Among the best predictors of high patient safety ratings in hospitals is a high nurse-to-patient ratio, the report indicates. In other words, the more nurses on staff at a hospital, the better the hospital’s patient safety record.

While we may not always understand the vital role played by nurses, we should take a moment to appreciate how healthcare workers in this profession are indispensable when it comes to ensuring patient safety and helping prevent — or at least detect or identify — medical errors in various healthcare settings.

Contact a Personal Injury Lawyer in Western N.C. and Upstate S.C.

Even the best nursing care cannot prevent all medical injuries. If you or someone you love suffered harm because of a medical error, a personal injury attorney in Asheville can assist you. Contact Grimes Teich Anderson LLP for more information.

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