EXTENDED AND EXPANDED ROLE OF NURSE
A nurse plays a vital role at the fore front of health care battles. The contributions made by nurses have always made significant difference for improving health care quality. Nurse’s role has always been extended and expanded with the changing trends. Innovations in health care, expanding health care systems and practice settings & the increasing needs of patients have been as stimulus for new nursing roles. Nursing is the largest of all health care professions. As far as traditional role of nurses are concerned the focus was on curative aspect whereas expanded role of nurse is assumed by virtue of education & experiences and extended role includes the services to the people and community.
Importance of Extended & Expanded role of nurse
- It provides variety of services for the patients of all age groups which may be part of hospital or community.
- It enhances clinical decision skills.
- It provides expert knowledge and high level of job satisfaction.
- Health is considered as fundamental right of individual. To provide the population with broad access to basic health services, nurses have to carry out wide range of functions especially in underserved areas like rural sector, remote regions & urban areas. The transition of health care systems from a disease oriented model to health oriented model is an emerging trend.
Needs for expanding & extending nurse’s role
The health care client is a patient, who may seek health care facilities at home, at place of work or in any type of health care agency. Expansion of scientific knowledge & application of this knowledge to diagnosis & treatment has led to much advancement. Patients can lead a productive life with artificial parameters, organ transplants and radiotherapy. Therefore there is need to expand nurses role to face new challenges in providing comprehensive care to the patients. Advancement i.e. role of nurse within hospital and community will help them to become expert in patient care and achieving satisfaction. Thus to meet the changing health care needs of the people, extended and expanded role of nurse is very essential.
Extended role of a nurse
The concept of an extended role means to reach out. The role of a nurse in extended care facility is one that a nurse assumes by virtue of education, type of institution where she is employed. Nurses are performing different roles in variety of settings. E.g. Hospital & community. It includes the advance care to be provided to the patient during any major surgery or procedures focused on using various practical skills. As a community health nurse, it demands involvement of nurses in care of individuals, families and groups which together constitute the total population. As a Family nurse practitioner she can assist the past and present physical and psychosocial health status of individual. Provide health education and counseling including referral services for complicated cases and the management of certain conditions. Conduct survey and use research to extend nursing theory and to improve health practices among the community. Conduct classes for training of first aid to the workers to assist in emergencies. The occupational nurse has a very important role in industrial health programs. Participate in health education programs and research project for desired change. As a rehabilitation nurse she develops a therapeutic and supportive relationship with the patient and family. As a nurse practitioner she provides health care services to the neglected, remote or underserved areas. Provide treatment of minor ailments through standing order. Provide a package of preventive, curative and rehabilitative services for promotion, maintenance and restoration of community health. Perform certain laboratory tests e.g. Hb estimation. Nurse Manager, administrator at district level implements NHP through supervisor at PHC level. Supervision to multi-purpose health worker. Conduct training programs for MPW community leaders like anganwadi teachers and local leaders. Health worker at grass root level. Conduct survey. Palliative / Hospice Care nurse means an agent which relieves but doesn’t care disease. A hospice is a system of family centered care designed to make the terminally ill patient comfortable and to ensure satisfactory lifestyle through the terminal phase of illness. It is provided for cancer patients including cardiac and renal patients.
Expanded role of nurse
Expanded role of nurse involves enhancing the nursing profession and responsibilities assumed by a nurse within the field of practice. India is a developing country possessing high illiteracy rate. Lack of education is one of the causes of high mortality rate. Nurse being a health care worker comes frequently in contact with patient and the community. Thus can provide appropriate and need based education as well as counseling and can contribute in improving the standards of health. Nurse as an advocate can protect the patients from exploitation and can confront the assaults and can initiate appropriate disciplinary action. Nurse as a collaborator can work with physicians, therapists and others health care workers, protecting the public health and welfare by overseeing and ensuring the safe practice of nursing.
To enhance the extended and expanded role of nurse in India, SGT University is also focusing on involving the nurses in providing community based care to the people of Budhera village by arranging regular camps focusing on treatment, management of various health problems, health education, rehabilitative care, provision of health care facilities. Along with this, nurses are also involved in regular surveys related to the prevalence of health problems in the village and providing even home care to the patients if required. Moreover the project of getting affiliated for the program of Nurse practitioner is also the next stepping stone for the university. Along with this, academic committee of the university is also focusing on improving and developing the clinical skills, professional and technical knowledge of nurses by updating them regularly by organizing various workshops, hands-on practice sessions and conference in a view to develop extended role of nurse.
Ms. Shweta Handa
Department of Child Health
Faculty of Nursing
SGT University, Gurugram