Nursing is such a rewarding career and a noble profession where you can have the real chance to make a difference in people’s lives. This chosen topic considers the intricate role of nurses in the care of adult patients with acute and chronic illness in hospital setting emphasising the importance of providing a safe and effective care.
According to (Royal college of Nursing 2019) adult nursing looks after patients age 18 and over. (Barton and Le May 2012) states that adult nursing is extremely diverse as it encompasses all aspects of caring that require skills, knowledge and the right attitude which bestows compassion, empathy, good communication, respect, counselling and act in a professional manner at all times.
The general trend of patient admitted to hospitals are mostly old age groups with acute or chronic illness and having more complex issues. The need for skills in recognising and responding to the deteriorating patient are vital to patient’s recovery from illness. Caring for the unwell adult in acute hospital setting can also be very challenging as it involves use of high-tech equipment and monitoring devices. The (Nursing and Midwifery Council 2018) states that nurses must perform an accurate assessment through observations, recognising worsening health condition of a patient and refer accordingly to the designated health practitioner in a timely manner where appropriate treatment and emergency care is required.
(Bullock et al 2014) states that ‘the health service in general is under pressure to cope with the growing aging population with complex health care needs and suffering from long-term illnesses’. Working alongside with other members of multidisciplinary team such as physiotherapists, occupational health therapists and social services will complement the nurse’s assessment in facilitating a safe discharge (Burns 2015). The earliest the referral is made according to patient’s needs is likely to lead shorter length of stay with greater emphasis on care support upon discharge.
It is well recognised that the NHS have significant staff shortage. The challenge of ensuring an adequate number of staff nurses providing consistent and safe care with the increasing number of hospitalised patients remains a concern. (Campbell 2014) reports that in order to cope with the increase demand, the NHS relies on recruiting staff from overseas to cover the problem of understaffing resulting from a massive shortage of nurses trained in the UK. According to (BBC news 2019) ‘report predicts that the NHS will recruit 5,000 new nurses every year, three times the figure it is currently recruiting’.
In response to this issue, the government has obligated to increase the number of UK nurses in training. However, (Buchan et al 2019) states that the changes in funding and almost 24% in fall in the number of student nurses not graduating in expected timeframe or not at all has showed no sign of improvement in declining staff levels.
Adult nursing in acute hospital setting is a highly demanding job that requires knowledge, dedication, compassion and professionalism. Although the workload has been arduous due to understaffing in most hospitals, nurses have proven to be more flexible and calmer under pressure in order to meet patient’s needs.