Nursing Roles and Duties

DLS301Nurses play an important part in any hospital. You can’t imagine a hospital or a hospice care without them. They have so many roles that any hospital would find it hard to deal with their patients without them.

They don’t just roam around a hospital and assist those in need of help. Nurses have specific roles to do for their patients. Their duties may have evolved over time, but nurses are no longer mere assistants to doctors and medical specialists. A hospital care is not complete without a nurse.

Care Provider
First of all, nurses provide care to their patients. And that includes attending to their personal needs at times.

Comforter
Nurses are great comforters, too. Their patients need that more than giving a precise medical diagnosis. When a nurse provides comfort to a patient; that will make his patient feel better.

Communicator
Nurses should be able to communicate to their patients as well. If they can talk to them, establish lines of communication, their patients’ time inside a hospital would be worthwhile.

Coach
They can be a teacher, if need be. This happens when explaining difficult terms used with medicine. If a nurse provides coaching to his patient, things inside the hospital would be a whole lot better.

Client Advocate
Nurses should be able to treat their patients as the most important person in the hospital. It is not the hospital who is paying them but their patients. So, providing care and comfort to them should be their main duty.

This is a short list of the many roles nurses do inside a hospital. They may use a combination of these roles, depending on the need of the patient, but nurses are there to give special medical attention to those who are in need of one.

Financing Hospital Care in the United States

Since the 60’s, Medical costs have risen dramatically in the U.S. The greatest increase comes from hospital care. Most hospitals have been granted large wage increase and installed expensive modern equipments. To meet these large expenditures, hospitals raised charges to their services by about 600 percent.

hospitalThere are three main methods of financing hospital care in the country: (1) private insurance, (2) government funding, and (3) customer payments.

Private Insurance. Approximately 80% of Americans have health insurance of some kind. The employee, employer, and the government pays a certain amount for medical benefits. Private health insurance are offered either by insurance companies, medical service plans, employers, or organizations.

Medical service plans provide service benefits. This service is a direct payment to the physician or hospital for medical care. On the other hand, Health Maintenance Organizations (HMO’s) provide nearly complete health care services for a monthly or annual fee. Despite the complete services provided, patient’s options are limited or are bonded by the HMO’s restrictions. There are also employers who pay for the health care cost for their employees rather than buying insurance.

Government Funding. About 40 percent of all health care cost is paid by the government. Of course, the Federal government pays for the larger portion. Hospitals that receive such funding are those managed by the Public Health Service and the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Medicare is the biggest government funded health care program in the U.S. IT helps senior citizens pay for out patient, nursing and hospital care.

Customer Payments. Most insurance do no pay for cost of medicine, medical appliances, dental , and eyeglasses. Some only cover a portion of the outpatient care. Patients will need to cover part of the cost themselves. Nearly 25% of health care cost is paid by patients.

Hospital Associated Pneumonia Prevention

Hospital associated pneumonia has become a great concern nowadays. According to WHO, pneumonia acquired from hospitals’ morbidity and mortality rates are staggering high. For those who are not aware, pneumonia that starts in the hospital tends to be more serious than other lung infections.

hospitalThis growing concern is due to several factors. Usually, the infection spreads when patients use respirators – machine for breathing. During hospital stay, patients are more vulnerable to germs or viruses since they are not well enough to fit the off. Patients who are more prone to this disease in the hospital are those who had surgeries, chemo therapy (cancer treatment with low immunity), have chronic lung disease, elderly, and alcoholic.

Germs are also passed from one health care staff to another through hand contact or clothing. This is why they are required to wear gloves and masks when on duty. There are also other ways to avoid the dreadful disease.

The best way to stop the spread of germs is through frequent hand washing, stay at home when sick, and boost immunity. People who need to visit their loved ones in the hospital must make sure that they have taken steps in preventing the spread of germs: bring hand sanitizer, wear masks and gloves, and never bring an infant or child. If you have contact with a person in the hospital, never place your hand from your face. When someone coughs or sneezes, cover your nose and mouth with clean tissue or hanky. Do the same when you sneeze or cough as well.

In-patients who are very young and old or very ill at greater risk of such infections. To prevent the spread of germs, get up-to-date vaccination. Ask your doctor about flu and anti-viral vaccinations available. With good preventive measures, you can ensure to have a disease-free life.

Exercise Benefits for COPD Patients

According to recent studies, staying active can help keep chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients out of the hospital for a longer period of time. COPD is the third leading cause of death in the U.S. which makes it a very dangerous disease. This is why many health care programs are currently focused on providing interventions at hospital discharge to reduce re-admissions.

exerciseThe study captures information regarding patients’ typical physical exercise before the first hospitalization and offers evidence that supports the promotion of exercise across the COPD care scale.

Researchers discovered that people who exercised for at least 150 minutes a week were 34 percent less inclined to be readmitted to the hospital within the next 30 days, compared with individuals who were inactive. This gives more reason for people with COPD to go out and exercise. Even at home, COPD patients can do simple exercise to improve their system. The more they become active, the more they activate their cells and promote a healthy lifestyle.

Even those individuals who relatively or vigorously exercised less than 150 minutes a week had a 33 percent lower readmission risk, in comparison with people that were inactive. A simple exercise is already good enough to keep you away from the hospital.

Exercise is connected with lower hazards of hospitalization for COPD patients. Particularly, individuals who either maintained a low physical exercise level over several years — as well as people who decreased their exercise levels during this period — had a higher hospitalization rate compared to those who maintained high physical exercise levels.

Exercise is a good and healthy habit to reduce hospitalization for COPD patients. It costs you nothing to exercise and will give you more benefits than you expect. It will reduce your hospital fees and exposure to medicines. So start stretching and keep yourself away from the hospital.

Healthcare Reform and Hospitals

hospitalThe discussion on whether the Affordable Care Act is a success or not will most likely continue for years, but authorities at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward say, because of the ACA and other state and government cuts, it might not be around to see the accidental complication of healthcare change. St. Rose Hospital has had cash problems for years. In fact, it has almost closed a few times before. Its sufferers are mostly without insurance or under-insured. The new control group is making progress to keep a hospital open, but the discount rates in state and government cash might mean those gates close for good.

For sufferers like Ginny Almond, St. Rose Hospital’s place in Hayward is everything. She was recently rushed there for emergency surgery. She says a few years ago, St. Rose physicians saved her life after she almost passed away in a fire. “Very thankful that they were there and so close to where I stay,” Almond says. The personal, non-profit hospital admits almost 35,000 E.R. sufferers a year. With Kaiser Hayward closing, St. Rose will be the only service getting 911 sufferers in the Bay Area’s fifth biggest town.

Now, because of cash problems, St. Rose might have to shut down. “It’d be terrible for myself and for the group,” according to Almond. St. Rose’s Chief Financial Officer, Mark Krissman, points out, “If St. Rose no longer exists, that means lives are at stake because emergency vehicles have to journey a little bit further to another service.” He says, as a safety net hospital, St. Rose admits a huge number of without insurance and under-insured sufferers.

The charges those sufferers can’t pay have been sponsored by state and government programs, such as, Medicare and MediCal. The Affordable Care Act will decrease Medicare financial assistance by $22 billion dollars over the next five years. The idea is that more people will be covered and able to manage medical care. But Krissman claims his hospital still needs that cash, because St. Rose serves a poor community, many of whom might not sign up for insurance. “We will get $3.6 million less in compensation for the next 12 months,” according to Krissman. Add that to the $10,000 shortage Krissman says St. Rose shelves up every day, in part because MediCal doesn’t cover full service expenses.