Nursing before vs. Now: Five ways nursing has changed

3 mins read
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The nursing career has been in existence for centuries. It has, however, altered dramatically over time and continues to do so. Nurses were generally second fiddle to doctors and other medical experts in the early days. But today’s healthcare sector sees nurses as one of the most critical parts of a medical group. Earlier, nurses had little to do with formal medical and training. However, today, the nursing profession has changed considerably.

These days, thinking of a career as a nurse means visualizing a future that’s completely different than the one previous nurses might have had. From limited training programs and working conditions to potential career prospects and more responsibilities, nursing has changed and improved in many ways over the years. The nursing career is continuously evolving, and the involvement of technology has only further driven this evolution.

While there are various ways the nursing profession will continue to evolve, let’s look at some of the ways nursing has changed over the past few years.

Highly Trained and Professional Nurses 

Nurses used to be trained in a very basic manner. The training wasn’t necessary a few years ago, and the healthcare industry didn’t provide adequate training to nurses. Nurses were only taught basic health care skills, including hospital etiquette, such as behaving with patients. However, today, the qualifications for nurses are pretty specific and detailed. There is a broad range of nursing programs, specialties, and certifications for various types of nursing. These days, more and more caretakers are pursuing a terminal degree in nursing such as Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) to reach the highest level of study.

Over the years, nursing changed drastically in terms of training. Now, nursing training is mainly concentrated on the academic side, increasing the importance of caretakers. It allows nurses to provide safe patient care and have the right knowledge to carry out their tasks properly.

Changes in the Healthcare Setting

Nurses would either work on the battlefield or in the home because the nursing profession was different back then. There was an apparent preference and need for health care to be performed at home anytime possible. Visiting the homes was more common than visiting the hospital, primarily reserved for very ill or badly injured individuals. It wasn’t until the early nursing courses that caretakers started to work inside the hospitals as workers, obtaining proper medical knowledge.  

The healthcare sector’s setting has evolved to include hospitals, home health care services, and physician’s clinics for nurses. The caretakers now work in a wide variety of environments. Nurses are the go-to health caretakers in emergencies, from schools and hospitals to the military. Nurses have started to travel across states and countries to fulfill nursing needs, gaining more experience and knowledge.

Impact of Technology

In the past, nurses generally served a specific group of people. Whether in the military or their local area, nurses usually had a relatively straightforward set of patients. However, technological improvements transformed the medical sector. With the increasing use of telehealth, caretakers can sign up as healthcare workers on different apps available to all individuals. People can hire healthcare services and call for diagnoses and medicines worldwide. It allows treating a wide variety of patients every day. Alongside, nurses can treat people from all kinds of backgrounds and cultures.

Moreover, the days of detailed charting and manually filing records have disappeared. With new electronic recordkeeping and telehealth technologies, patients have easier access to their data than before. Technology has enabled RNs to enhance efficiency and communicate better in the nursing sector. Technologies have reduced the chances of nurses or other medical workers making errors.

Improved Better Patient Care

Patient care has become a critical component in all medical specialties. Previously, the culture for patient care used to be quite a throbbing experience where medical experts weren’t worried about enduring painful medical treatments. Fortunately, patient care has become the top priority for medical experts. It has recently thrived with nurses in the front areas of patient care.

Nurses Now Hold a Varied Range of Responsibilities                                           

Nursing responsibilities used to look a lot like a to-do list for a house, but they’ve gone a long way since then. The change in duties for nurses comes from a few alterations in the sector, such as more detailed training and the need for medical experts growing fast. Now the responsibilities of nurses are not easy to define for many medical experts. They have taken over more duties than ever and are defined as respected medical experts.

Nurses who used to be order-takers have become more responsible than delivering food to patients, changing beds, or giving medicines. They now enjoy an increased collective relation with doctors and physicians. Nurses’ time with patients gives them a distinctive vision about patients’ needs and wants, behavior, and health habits. They educate patients and people on preventing different diseases, illnesses, and much more.

Final Thoughts

The nursing career has changed drastically and continues to be a growing sector. Advances have been made to help the nursing field go from being one that isn’t admired to one that deserves respect. The changes in training and technology have made nurses more experienced and professional, increasing their value and importance. Patient care has improved, making the healthcare sector grow and get better. 

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