Nursing is one of the medical professions which so many people are opting in to study as a course without knowing what it entails.
Can those who are familiar with this profession/course tell us what it entails and what it is not?
Nursing is a discipline involved in caring for individuals, family and community. It is a well respected profession in the health care system as it deals with preventing diseases, promoting health, treating illness and restoring wellness. Virginia Henderson defines nursing as "assisting individuals, sick or well in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery (or to peaceful death) that he would perform unaided if he has the necessary strength, will or knowledge and to do this so as to gain independence as rapidly as possible."
Nursing profession has been in practice for a long time when women known as wet nurses were taking care of little children and women were made to take care of their sick ones at home but it was made a respected profession by Florence Nightingale who is known as the mother of nursing and who established a nursing school in 1860. The profession now stands as a body that has scientific means and evidenced-based practices of delivering the services.
According to the Jean Watson nursing theory, holistic health care is the central of nursing practices and it is patient oriented. It deals with caring for the total man of a patient; physiologically and psychologically. It deals with assessing a patient's problem, making clinical judgement which determines the intervention, making plans to solve the problem, implementing the plans and evaluating the effectiveness of the intervention. Nurses spend more time with their patients than any other health care personnels. They also serve as advocates for their patient and help in decision making. Nurses work in collaboration with other health care worker's such as Physicians, physiotherapists, information managers and so on, in the hospitals to ensure they give the best services as much as possible for the interest of their patients.
A lot of movies and television shows wrongly portray what nursing profession entails. However, the facts that the menace of quackery has been a thorn in the flesh of the profession cannot be overemphasized. Quacks are those that are not licensed by the nursing and mid-wifery council of Nigeria (which is the only organisational body that guildes the profession) but act as nurses whether individually or in hospitals. To become a nurse, a person must either get admitted into a school of nursing to get a registered nurse certificate or into a university to study nursing to get a degree. Nursing profession also entails various specialties such as perioperative nursing, neonatal nursing, psychiatry nursing, critical care nursing and so on. The profession also has great opportunities of studying and working abroad.
In conclusion, nursing profession is a noble profession that deals with taking total care of patients and improving wellness.