Nursing is a long-established, challenging, and fulfilling area of employment that has grown, diversified, and transformed over centuries.
Adjusting to nursing positions can be triggered by many factors, from population growth to the introduction of new treatments and systems.
This article explores a few of the ways in which the duties of nurses have been adapted to the changing healthcare landscape.
How have medicine and healthcare changed in recent years?
To be as effective as possible, healthcare providers must develop their practices and processes in response to the needs and requirements of their patients and the wider society in which they operate.
This is applicable at a range of levels. For example, the Department of Health & Human Services may implement changes across the US based on country-wide trends, while state governments will collect their own data and may adjust the focus of local healthcare providers based on independent findings.
After all, there is no one-size-fits-all healthcare program, and different states tend to face different challenges depending on factors such as localized population growth and structures, the environment, the economy, and typical lifestyles.
More challenges are becoming apparent as time goes on. For example, the US population is aging, we continue to experience the effects of COVID-19, and medical costs continue to rise at an unsustainable rate without always being reflected in the quality of patient care.
As a result, many leaders within the healthcare industry are pushing to improve access to healthcare and reduce the strain on their systems by emphasizing on prevention and education.
In addition, population growth, paired with an aging society with increasingly complex needs, has led to a requirement for versatile and expertly developed care coordination.
Furthermore, as technology has progressed and automation has become more integrated within the medical industry, the collection and analysis of data have grown in importance. After all, accurate and up-to-date data informs automated systems for the best possible results.
How have these changes affected nursing?
Nursing roles have long combined practical, “front-line” patient care with administrative work and the preparation of treatment plans. The day-to-day work of nurses continues to adapt significantly based on the following changes.
In response to challenges relating to the affordability of care, the tasks of budget management and financial data collection and analysis are often absorbed into nursing jobs.
In many cases, leading nurses now have a key role in the development and administration of healthcare systems, packages, or “bundles”, often with set or tiered costs, that exist to help patients with lower incomes access care.
The financial management aspects of nursing may also serve to reduce costs for the provider without affecting the quality of care.
Nurses are often tasked with the combined duties of “front-line” patient healthcare provision, the creation of ongoing treatment plans, the education of patients and their families, and the general administration of processes.
As such, they are very well-placed to take core roles in the creation of improved, streamlined services that may include:
- Ongoing patient support, signposting, and compliance assurance
- Coordination of various treatments to improve efficiency and avoid duplication, overprescribing, needless repetition, and adverse effects caused by certain interacting drugs
- Quality control
- Collection and analysis of data that will ensure continued improvements to services
Prevention and education
Some nurse roles now focus more heavily on the causes of injury and illness, with the aim of preventing the emergence or worsening of certain conditions within at-risk patients.
Many will then use this information to educate patients and their caregivers so that problems may be prevented, improving their long-term prognosis and reducing the need for them to engage in complex or costly treatments in the future.
As the medical industry shifts its focus more towards “wellness” than “illness”, nurses are likely to take a leading role when it comes to the provision of care in the community and the empowerment of patients when it comes to self-care and ongoing quality of life.
Adaptability and dynamism as a nurse
Specific nursing roles may vary from employer to employer, and certain duties are regularly revised for optimum efficiency.
Therefore, a dynamic approach to both daily work and wider roles is a must for nurses. Many higher education courses, including MSN-FNP Masters’s degrees, prioritize dynamism and adaptability as part of their educational offerings.
The fact that institutions like the University of Indianapolis offer online nursing degrees means that future healthcare specialists can further their careers and gain new qualifications in a flexible, accessible manner—an approach that is dynamic in and of itself.
New systems and processes are constantly being introduced by healthcare providers in response to the needs of the wider community. As a result, it is often nurses who are tasked with adopting these effectively within short periods of time.
This is equally one of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of this career path.
9 Simple Steps to Dealing with a Broken Tooth
Credit: freepik via Freepik
It’s movie night, and you have an obligatory bowlful of popcorn balancing on your lap. You toss a handful of popcorn and — crack — you unknowingly bite down on a kernel with the full power of your jaw.
Lightning strikes your mouth as you realize this humble kernel broke your tooth.
Besides pausing the movie and spitting out your mouthful of popcorn and tooth, you might not know your next steps.
What should you do, and how can you pay for it? Find the answers to these questions and more below:
1. Save the Pieces
If possible, save any broken pieces of the tooth. Your dentist might need these pieces.
2. Rinse Your Mouth
Gently rinse your mouth with warm water to clean the area. Avoid using hot or cold water, as it might aggravate any exposed nerves.
3. Control Bleeding
If you bleed, apply gentle pressure to the area with a clean cloth or gauze. You can also use a cold compress on your jaw or cheek to reduce swelling.
4. Contact Your Dentist
Reach out to your dentist immediately. Explain the situation and try to schedule an emergency appointment. Many dentists reserve slots for urgent cases. If they don’t have a spot available, look at specialty emergency clinics in your area.
5. Get Over-the-Counter Pain Relief
Broken and chipped teeth can hurt, so take some over-the-counter pain relievers to help manage this pain until you can see your dentist.
6. Check Insurance Coverage
Review your dental insurance policy to understand coverage details. Some policies may cover emergency procedures, while others may have limitations.
7. Discuss Payment Options
If cost is a concern, discuss financing options with your dentist. Some dental offices offer flexible arrangements that give you a break. If you qualify for these plans, you might be able to push out your due date to coincide with your payday. You may even be able to break up your total outstanding amount over several payments.
8. Take out a Personal Loan
If you’re just shy of what you need to cover your emergency dental expense, consider going online to scope out personal loans. A personal loan may fill in for savings in urgent situations. You can quickly visit a website like MoneyKey to see what you need to apply. If approved, a personal loan gives you the means to pay for your visit upfront and pay off what you owe over time.
9. Consider Urgent Care Clinics
If your financial situation is such that you can’t afford a personal loan’s payments, reconsider your choice of dentist. Some dental practices apply a sliding scale to their services so that they can provide immediate care at a lower cost for at-risk individuals.
Next Steps: Thinking About the Future
So, you’ve managed to repair your tooth and pay the bill, too. What’s next? Make sure you hit these three goals soon. They can help you prevent another broken tooth in the future!
- Stay on Top of Dental Hygiene: Brush at least twice a day and floss once a day — these simple habits can protect your teeth over time.
- Schedule Regular Checkups: Keeping up with regular cleanings can also help you prevent future dental emergencies.
- Build an Emergency Fund: Sometimes, accidents happen. Consider building an emergency fund specifically for unexpected dental emergencies.
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