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Shankar Raju

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Nursing is one of the most imposing profession in modern healthcare system and is essential to the future health care. The profession was believed lowly in many years back, how ever, with time and efforts from individuals like Florence Nightingale the perception of society has altered towards the nursing profession. Florence Nightingale was the legend, who had kick started the nursing profession, the legend who gave her life caring for the people those were sick, wounded and diseased. One of her biggest accomplishment was to raise nursing as profession to the level of a respectable profession for women.

Florence Nightingale have got great influence over nursing profession in India and she made a close knowledge of Indian conditions, especially in army sector. She was interested in the running nursing operations for the civilian population, although her first interest was the welfare of the army in India.

In 1865, Miss Florence Nightingale described some elaborated "Suggestions on a system of nursing for hospitals in India". Graduates were sent out from the Nightingale School of Nurses at St.Thomas Hospital, England to start similar schools in our country. St Stephens Hospital at Delhi was the first one to begin training the Indian girls as nurses in 1867.

Prior to the footing of modernistic nursing care, such functions were been served by military and nuns. It appears a right definition of nurses being sometimes referred to as “Sisters”, According to the International Council of Nurses “Nursing encompasses autonomous and collaborative care of individuals of all ages, families, groups and communities, sick or well and in all settings. Nursing includes the promotion of health, prevention of illness, the care of ill, disabled and dying people.” Advocacy, promotion of a safe environment, research, participation in shaping health policy and in patient and health systems management, and education are also key nursing roles.

Scope of nursing

A few days ago, the nursing professionals had very little choice of service since their role was centered in the bedside at hospital. Now a days plenty of Career opportunities are created for them nationally and international arena for a various reasons.

The list of opportunities available are given under:

1. Staff Nurse:- The Nurse who provides direct patient care to one patient or a group of patients. Assists ward management and supervision.

2.Ward sister/Nurse or Nursing Supervisor: Takes full charge of the ward. Monitors and assigns various tasks to nursing and non-nursing personnel who working in the ward. They are responsible to the nursing superintendent for the nursing care management of a ward or unit, ensure patient safety and create comfort environment in the ward.

3. Department supervisor / Assistant Nursing Superintendent: Responsible to the nursing superintendent and deputy nursing superintendent for the nursing care and management of more than one ward or unit.

4. Deputy nursing superintendent: Responsible to the nursing superintendent and assists in the nursing administration of the hospital.

5. Nursing Superintendent : Responsible to the medical superintendent for safe and efficient management of hospital nursing services.

6. Director of Nursing: Responsible for both nursing service and nursing educations within a teaching hospital.

7. Community Health Nurse (CHN): Their services rendered mainly focusing Reproductive Child Health programme.

8. Teaching in nursing: The functions and responsibilities of the teacher in nursing are planning, teaching and supervising the learning experiences for the students. Positions in nursing education are clinical instructor, tutor, senior tutor, lecturer, associate professor, Reader in nursing and Professor in nursing.

9. Industrial Nurses: Providing first aid, care during illness, health educations about industrial hazards and prevention of accidents.

10. Military Nurse: Military Nursing service became a part of the Indian Army by which means nurses became commissioned officers who are given rank from lieutenant to major general.

11.Nursing service administrative positions. At the state level the Deputy Director of Nursing at the state health directorate. The highest administrative position on a national level is the Nursing Advisor to the Govt. of India.

Nursing Specialties

Nursing profession has (70 plus) divisions, some popular and specialty items followed as:-

• Out Patient Specialists: Who care for patients those stay in the hospital for less than 24 hours, i.e. they work in the Out-patient departments and some emergency sections in hospital.

• Anesthesia Specialist: They provide assistance in providing anesthesia to patients before, during and after surgery or childbirth.

• Cardiac Care Specialist: These nurses collaborate with other medical staff in assessing, intervening and implementing nursing care for the cardiac patient.

• Critical Care Specialist: These nurses provide care for patients and families who are experiencing actual or potential life-threatening illness.

• Emergency Nurses: They assess patients, provide interventions and evaluate care in cases where immediate actions are required without time delay. This is one of the most stressful work conditions in this line of work.

• Forensic Nurses: Forensic nurses provide medical care to victims of crime and collect evidence from the crime scenes. This can be one of the most intricate and interesting streams of nursing. Sometimes forensic nurses also provide medical care to patients within the prison system.

• Geriatric Nurses: Geriatric nurses care for elderly patients in a number of places ranging from the patients home to nursing homes and hospitals. They have to be prepared for very tough conditions as their patients are often very ill, weak and completely dependent on the nurse.

• Holistic Nursing: Holistic nurses provide medical care for patients while honoring the individual's subjective opinions about health, health beliefs, and values. In recent times, this practice is becoming more and more relevant as people have more trust in different schools of medicine they follow and they find it highly offensive if forced to follow other practices. This includes adding a personalized and individualistic approach to the daily nursing care.

• Case Management Specialist: It includes assessment, planning, facilitation and advocacy for options and services to meet an individual's health needs through communication and available resources to promote quality results which are cost effective too.

• Midwives: Midwives are nurses that are specially trained to deal with childbirth and caring for the baby and its mother. The midwife is qualified to deliver babies by themselves unless they require further assistance.

• Military Nurses: Military nurses work in a different scenarios ranging from military bases to the warfronts.

• Nursing Practitioner: Nurse practitioners are those who have obtained their masters degree. They are qualified to prescribe medication, and interpret test results.

• Occupational Health Nursing: The Occupational Health Nursing is also called company nurses. They work in offices where they are responsible for improving, protecting, maintaining and restoring the health of employees.

• Pediatric Nurses: Pediatric nurses care for children of all ages and work in all aspects of health care. Pediatric nurses practice in a variety of settings which include hospitals, clinics, schools, and in the home.

• Perioperative Nursing: Perioperative nurses work in operating rooms in specialist hospitals, community and rural hospitals, surgery units and specialized clinics. They often provide post-anesthetic care or total patient care in rural hospitals or specialized units.

• Psychiatric Nursing: Psychiatric nurses provide care for people suffering from psychiatric or mental illnesses. These nurses practice at various locations which include homes, hospitals and institutions.

• Research Nurses: Research nurses perform all types of research to establish a scientific basis for the care of individuals across all ages .They deal with various subjects beginning from management of patients during illness and recovery to the reduction of risks for disease and disability. They thus help in promoting healthier lifestyles and providing overall better health care.

• School Nursing: School nurses are stationed at schools and to assure that the students and faculty of schools are provided proper medical care and other support inside the school itself.

• Travel Nursing: This is a variant of agency nursing. These agencies provide nurses to hospitals and other health care facilities in distant places. Travel nurses usually make a very good salary, receive paid housing accommodations, sign-on bonuses, and other excellent benefits.

• Urological Nurses: Urology nurses deal with patients suffering from diseases such as male infertility, male sexual dysfunction, kidney stones, incontinence, and pediatrics. Urology nurses may also participate in such urological surgeries.

• Women's Health Specialists: Women's health nurses work in fields such as gynecology, obstetrics, mammography, reproductive health, and general women's health. These nurses practice in a variety of settings.

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