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Roles of the Nurse in Health Care

Rashid Hussain RN, CCN, BScN

What is Profession?

A profession is a group (vocational or occupational) that requires specialized education and intellectual knowledge. Nursing has accomplished much in the way of establishing its body of knowledge, scope of practice, research base, and code of ethics. As professionals, nurses are accountable for providing quality care. Accountability is the process in which individuals are answerable for their actions and have an obligation (or duty) to act.


The work is intellectual and distinguished by a substantial body of knowledge. Provision of a unique service to society. An expanding body of knowledge. Personal responsibility to the public for services provided. A long period of education, including both theory and practice. Autonomy and the ability to develop policy about the discipline and control of the activity of ones members. Members share a common identity, values, and attitudes. Career choice of its members is motivated by altruism and reflects a long-term commitment to the public. A code of ethics to which its members adhere.

a special calling that requires special, skills, knowledge and attitudes SOCIALIZATION process where a person learns the ways and means or skills, knowledge, attitudes of the group to which he belongs to

NURSING is a Profession
Profession An occupation that requires extensive education or a calling that requires special knowledge, skill and preparation. The knowledge and skills are developed in a scientific and learned manner Has ethical components, that is devoted to the promotion of human and social welfare.


Requires prolonged, specialized training to acquire a body of knowledge pertinent to the role to be performed Determines the qualification necessary for those who enter into practice Has own body of knowledge, based on social and scientific principles Respected in society as honorable Orients the individual toward service, either to a community or to an organization Has a code of ethics for practice Autonomy in decision making and practice Constantly enlarges its body of knowledge through ongoing research Recognizes its responsibilities to develop educational programs Maintains a professional organization

Is Nursing a vocation or a profession?

Characteristics of a Profession
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Education Theory Service Autonomy Code of Ethics Caring -the most unique characteristic of nursing

7 Critical Features of Profession

1. Specialized education 2. Code of ethics 3. Research of orientation 4. Autonomy 5. Body of knowledge 6. Service orientation 7. Professional Organization

Professions vs Occupations


College or University Prolonged education Mental creativity Decisions based on science or theoretical constructs Values, beliefs & ethics integral part of preparation Strong commitment Autonomous Unlikely to change professions Commitment > $ reward Individual accountability

On the job training Length varies Largely manual work Guided decision making Values, beliefs & ethics not part of preparation Commitment may vary Supervised Often change jobs Motivated by $ reward Employer is primarily accountable



Novice student nurse entering a clinical setting where he has no experience at all.

2. Advance nurse who demonstrates a marginally acceptable performance: depends on rules and maxims. 3. Competent 2 3 years experience demonstrates organizational ability but lacks speed and flexibility of a proficient nurse.

4. Proficient concerned with long term goals, performance is fluid and flexible compared to competent nurse - has a wholistic view of the client. 5. Expert no longer relies on maxims, performance is highly proficient, fluid flexible and has a holistic view. - has high perceptual acuity or a clinical eye.

FUNCTIONS of a Professional Nurse

Provide basic care to clients Administer treatments as advised Observe patients response and adaptation to illness Observe patients response and adaptation to treatments Teach self care and counsel on health matters Supervise/ guide in rehabilitative activities related to daily living Participate in research work related to health care Plan care with the patient (trust & self worth) Coordinate all services for client care Teach & supervise nursing students, auxiliary personnel and clients Maintain own physical and mental health 12

Nurses Responsibilities

Perform physical exams and health histories Provide health promotion, counseling and education Administer medications, wound care, and numerous other personalized interventions Interpret patient information and make critical decisions about needed actions Coordinate care, in collaboration with a wide array of healthcare professionals Direct and supervise care delivered by other healthcare personnel like LPNs and nurse aides Conduct research in support of improved practice and patient outcomes


Love for fellow beings, honest, courteous, dignified & loyal Disciplined, obedient, alert & intelligent Technically competent, resourceful & economic Dependable & adjustable Able to inspire confidence Sympathetic, empathetic, tactful & poised Patient & with a sense of humor Physically and mentally healthy Generous Gentle & quiet

N Nobility, Knowledge U - Usefulness, Understanding R Righteousness, Responsibility S - Simplicity, Sympathy E - Efficiency, Equanimity


RNs practice in all healthcare settings: hospitals, nursing homes, medical offices, ambulatory care centers, community health centers, schools, and retail clinics. They also provide health care in more surprising locations such as camps, homeless shelters, prisons, sporting events and tourist destinations.




Educator Clinical Nurse specialist Nurse practitioner Certified Nurse Midwife Nurse Anesthetist Nurse Administrator Nurse Researcher

Flight Nurse Aerospace Nurse Industrial Nurse School Nurse Hotel Nurse Nurse informatics

Roles of the Nurse

1. Caregiver/ Care provider the traditional and
most essential role functions as nurturer, comforter, provider mothering actions of the nurse provides direct care and promotes comfort of client activities involves knowledge and sensitivity to what matters and what is important to clients shows concern for client welfare and acceptance of the client as a person

Roles of the Nurse


2. Teacher provides information and helps the

client to learn or acquire new knowledge and technical skills encourages compliance with prescribed therapy. promotes healthy lifestyle interprets information to the client


Roles of the Nurses


3. Counselor- helps client to recognize and cope with stressful psychological or social problems; to develop and improve interpersonal relationships and to promote personal growth

provides emotional, intellectual to and psychological support focuses on helping a client to develop new attitudes, feelings and behaviors rather than promoting intellectual growth. encourages the client to look at alternative behaviors recognize the choices and develop a sense of control.

Roles of the Nurses


4. Client advocate- involves concern for and actions in behalf of the client to bring about a change.
promotes what

is best for the client, ensuring that the clients needs are met and protecting the clients right. provides explanation in clients language and support clients decisions.

Roles of the Nurses


5. Change agent- initiate changes or assist

clients to make modifications in themselves or in the system of care.

6. Manager makes decisions, coordinates

activities of others, allocate resources, evaluate care and personnel plans, give direction, develop staff, monitors operations, give the rewards fairly and represents both staff and administrations as needed.

Roles of the Nurses


7. Researcher participates in identifying

significant researchable problems participates in scientific investigation and must be a consumer of research findings must be aware of the research process, language of research, a sensitive to issues related to protecting the rights of human subjects.

Expanded role of the nurse

1. Clinical Specialists- is a nurse who has

completed a masters degree in specialty and has

considerable clinical expertise in that specialty. She provides expert care to individuals, participates in educating health care professionals and ancillary, acts as a clinical consultant and participates in



Expanded role of the nurse

2. Nurse Practitioner- is a nurse who has


completed either as certificate program or a masters

degree in a specialty and is also certified by the appropriate specialty organization. She is skilled at making nursing assessments, performing P. E., counseling, teaching and treating minor and selflimiting illness.


Expanded role of the nurse


3. Nurse-midwife- a nurse who has completed a program in midwifery; provides prenatal and postnatal care and delivers babies to woman with uncomplicated pregnancies. 4. Nurse anesthetist- a nurse who completed the course of study in an anesthesia school and carries out pre-operative status of clients.


Expanded role of the nurse


5. Nurse Educator- A nurse usually with advanced degree, who beaches in clinical or educational settings, teaches theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and conduct research. 6. Nurse Entrepreneur- a nurse who has an advanced degree, and manages health-related business. 7. Nurse Administrator- a nurse who functions at various levels of management in health settings; responsible for the management and administration of resources and personnel involved in giving patient care.

Nursing continues to grow