Nursing has always seemed to be a profession in which the nurse is the follower of the doctor such as their personal minion only doing the nominal things that the doctor does not want to do. However in Florence Nightingale’s Notes on Nursing and the article “Quality and Nursing” by Hall, Moore, and Barnsteiner you can see that nurses can have a much larger impact on the healthcare system. In Nightingale’s book the author takes an in-depth look at nursing and exclaims that it should not be the mere, “administration of medicines and application of poultices” (Florence 2). The article “Quality and Nursing” looks into what nursing is and the potential it has to make a larger impact on the healthcare system. These two informative pieces make a claim that the nurse’s job has been inhibited by the lack of knowledge of what elements make a good nurse, and that it is time for them to not merely be a follower of a doctor but through better communication and continued education nurses could improve the healthcare system.
Patient’s safety is a key issue in both documents and with the right nurse you can increase the efficiency of their safety. Nightingale notes that with “bad sanitary, bad architectural, and bad administrative arrangements,” it is impossible for a nurse to work effectively (Florence 2). What the author is trying to say here is that they do not really know how to keep things running in a smooth fashion in a hospital to increase the safety of the patients. This in turn has an adverse affect on the nurses because it keeps nurses from advancing and limits them to simply be administers of medicine and bandages. The author later goes on to reveal that the elements of nursing are really unknown in that the art of nursing has been one that tries to, “unmake what God had made a disease to be, a reparative process” (Florence 2). In contrast the article on “Quality and Nursing,” says that today it is not the lack of knowledge in patient safety but a lack of communication between nurses within a hospital and across the country. The writers of this article are making the point that patient safety has become a major focus for virtually every health system within the past ten years.
For example it was noted in a study from 2000 that 3% to 4% of hospitalized patients died from adverse effects of being in the hospital (Hall 418). Another study in 2004 revealed that 1 in 200 patients died of preventable diseases that were caused from being hospitalized (Hall 418). Through evaluation of efficiency and effectiveness of operations in the hospitals they have noted that health professionals need to acquire skills relating to quality control just as much as having knowledge of how to perform surgery. Just as Nightingale exclaimed, in 1859, it is not the lack of advancement in medicine but rather the lack of patient safety that is holding nurses back from performing successfully (Florence 4).
Within the articles one can see that both authors note the need for better quality of care in the hospitals. Nightingale is mesmerized by the fact that we can advance so much in the laws of motion and astronomy but we can not better understand the human body which is under observation every minute of everyday. The author is criticizing us on being more experienced about astronomy than simple hygiene. She suggests that there is something that the hospital could do to increase sanitation and better quality. While Nightingale shows that there is a need for better quality in healthcare she does not suggest anything that could be done. However, she states that the hospital should be responsible for it. On the other hand the article by Hall, Moore and Barnsteiner show that specific programs have been made to improve the quality in the workplace. They include that systematic improvement initiatives will improve, “patient flow problems, communication around complex patients, and improving medication safety” (Hall 419). Not only does it improve those things but also as these qualities improve it will increase the joy of the nurses in the work place in turn leading to higher patient satisfaction.
With further education nurses can also serve as better patient advocates through, ”integration of care, provision of emotional support, education of patients and families, assistance with compensation for loss of function, and monitoring of patient status” (Hall 419). Programs that aid with the implement of those topics patients and families can be introduced to a common ground between medicine and natural healing. When nurses are able to fulfill this balance there can be a better atmosphere for the patient and families as well as the medical staff. Nightingale originally established this principle with her theory on what nursing is, and what it is not and one can see how it is finally being implemented today in the modern day of nursing. This being said the theories started in Nightingales time period really just needed time and realization to be understood.
Through these points we can see that Florence Nightingale was a very smart individual and laid the basis for what nursing is today with her confrontation of the things hospitals need to improve on. This historic text relates directly to the modern text found today in the article on quality and nursing. Once one has read both articles it can be noted that there has been a tremendous effort to increase the quality of healthcare in the last ten years which can and will benefit the patient while also making the job of nurses more enjoyable. The shift in these time periods has led to greater initiatives that deal with the problems in the hospital by creating safer and more cutting-edge environments. All the resources that nurses have and will be exposed to in the modern world is leading to a more proficient health system that is increasing the quality and well being of the medical field.
Hall, Leslie W., Shirley M. Moore, and Jane H. Barnsteiner. “Quality And Nursing: Moving From A Concept To A Core Competency.” Urologic Nursing 28.6 (2008): 417-425. Academic Search Premier. Web. 19 Feb. 2014.
Florence Nightingale. Notes on Nursing. NY. Barnes & Noble, 2003.
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