Nursing care forms a crucial component of health care provision. The nurse-patient relationship and interaction is a crucial component of health care delivery of nurses, which not only involves doctors and surgeons, but also significantly utilizes this profession. The responsibility of nurses includes treatment, care and rehabilitation of acutely or chronically diseased patients, health education, promotion and sustenance, and treatment of life threatening emergencies in a wide range of health care settings (Marquis et.al 2009). Sadly, their role, as brought out in this definition, is often overlooked or not appreciated. In my hospital, nurses are only allocated duties entailing patient’s comfort, or as most people refer to it, the dirty work. They work day and night, changing a patient’s linen, clothes, cleaning them and attending to patients on bed rest.
Attending consultants do not actively involve them in ward rounds; thus, the nurses have no say in the patient’s medical care. They are also accorded minimal participation in clinical trials and medical research and this inhibits them from gaining new knowledge and skills on the evolving medical science. Their role in health care is often sidelined, as most health care workers fail to recognize their importance. Consultant doctors disagree and reprimand them in the presence of patients, and this comes out as disrespectful. Nurses in my hospital also lack motivation, as their work is always never appreciated. They toil the most but are underpaid.
The public’s attitude towards them is that they are rude and impolite, and young nurses usually get less professional respect as compared to their older matrimonial counterparts. Patient’s impoliteness towards them is not discouraged, and most patients’ in a health crisis often retaliate to violating the dignity of the nurses. This jeopardizes the mutual support in the nurse patient relationship and compromise patient satisfaction. Male nurses also face social stigma, as around the world, nurses have been traditionally female, and nursing is predominantly a female dominated field. Male nurses, therefore, suffer a negative environment. There is also poor interaction between nurses, and they are not given time or allowed to organize social activities that can be team building.
Most barriers to effective nursing are as a result of issues that can be very easily addressed. Firstly, most nurses are poorly paid despite working hard and putting in a lot of effort every day. This leads to low motivation among the staff and, therefore, affecting the quality of the service provided. As much as the nursing staff would like to offer the skills they have and deliver them with the best quality, it is impossible for this to happen if they feel that they are not appreciated due to the low pay.
Another barrier arises due to poor facilities and limited healthcare resources. The large number of patients seeking healthcare makes this situation worse. This makes the system overcrowded and strained which makes it impossible for the nurses to be able to provide their services effectively (Piper, S. 2009). It is impossible to provide a service if the basic resources required for nurses to provide them are not available.
Lack of support from other healthcare professionals is also a significant barrier to effective nursing. Nurses are usually left to carry out their duties without assistance, and if a nurse asks for help from a doctor or consultant, they deem them to be incompetent and that they cannot carry out their duties. This creates an extremely poor environment for nurses to carry out their duties and deliver quality service.
Retrogressive professional attitudes cause serious hindrances when it comes to nursing service delivery. Most senior doctors and consultants look down upon nurses, which is something that has been going on for a very long time in the health sector. It is an archaic behavior driven mainly by superiority complex. These doctors talk down to the nurses and reprimand them in front of patients leading to poorly motivated nurses unable and unwilling to offer their services. Having seen such things happening where I work, there are a number of suggestions that I can put forward to address this issues.
To begin with, all members that who make up the healthcare system (including health care professionals) should employ the concept of team work. They should apply this in their interactions and service provision. Every member is vital to the health care system from the doctors, consultants to the nurses, nursing aides, lab technicians, midwives and everyone involved in the system. Nurses have a crucial part to play since they form the direct link between the patient and other health services as they provide the bulk of patient care. They are the ones that have a constant contact with admitted patients throughout their care. They should, therefore, be accorded respect and their work properly appreciated by those senior than them.
The hospital employs a policy that patients are always right, and this is something that needs to be addressed urgently if positive change is to be achieved. A system should be put in place that seeks to solve patient and nurse conflict without blaming anyone before an inquiry and tabling of proper evidence. This will motivate the nurses since they will see themselves as appreciated by the management.
The management can also set individual and team goals that need to be achieved and seek to compensate those that achieve them. This will lead to motivated nurses and teams willing to achieve goals that will be beneficial to the patient and the hospital, while getting proper rewards for their extra efforts. Compensation for the extra effort can be bonuses, vacations or promotions.
The hospital should arrange team building activities that will help promote mutual trust, cooperation and open communication between nursing individuals. This would create a nursing team that is able to work together smoothly and provide the best quality care. If these changes were to be implemented, the barriers to effective nursing would be erased leaving space for quality nursing service within the hospital.