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Clinical Systems Leadership

4 Ways Nurses Make Your Visit Easier

Nurses put their patients at ease, provide a human touch in an environment where speed is necessary, and generally make a hospital or doctor’s visit go much more smoothly. Nurses are almost the magicians of the health care industry, because they do so much (both behind-the-scenes and right in front of their patients) that people never notice or acknowledge. They do whatever they can to make each patient’s visit easier.

They Act as Patient Liaisons
One of the most important things a nurse does is act as a patient liaison. Sometimes several doctors see a patient, especially in a hospital. The problem is that they don’t always communicate with one another, which can lead to potential disaster. Though it’s certainly never on purpose, two different doctors may prescribe two or more medications that negatively interact with each other. Good nurses are always on the lookout for things like this. Even if the doctors don’t communicate with each other, the nurse is typically aware of every patient detail.

If a doctor accidentally prescribes a medication that a patient is allergic to, the nurse flags it. Not only are nurses more likely to recognize “dueling” medications, they will also spot differing diagnoses. It’s possible that a patient may feel more comfortable confessing symptoms or worries to a nurse as well, at which point he or she will communicate those issues to the doctor.

They Work as Translators
Medical jargon fills hospitals and doctors’ offices. A doctor may not realize that his or her diagnosis makes no sense to a patient. When the patient feels confused or worried because of a lack of understanding, the nurse steps in to help. Nurses are easily able to translate medical jargon into everyday language the patients can understand. Fear of the unknown is the worst experience, especially when someone’s health is at stake. Patients and family members need to understand what’s happening. Nurses work tirelessly to make sure they do.

They Question Doctor’s Orders
Doctors are busy, and they’re not infallible. Nurses are ever-vigilant, and they’re alert to physician mistakes. That includes making sure that different doctors don’t prescribe any medications that may interact with each other, and that they don’t prescribe something to which the patient is allergic. If a doctor under-prescribes a pain medication and a nurse can tell the patient is in pain, he or she questions that as well. Nurses always err on the side of patient comfort and safety.

They Advocate for the Patient
Nurses also make visits easier by generally advocating for the patient. They won’t let their patients stay in pain or feel nervous and uncomfortable. They answer any questions, listen intently to the descriptions of anxieties, symptoms, and fears, and work tirelessly to make sure that their patients feel comfortable, calm, and safe.

Nurses are the superstars of the health care industry. They do so much more than take blood pressure, dispense medication, and follow doctor’s orders. What do you think excellent nurses do?

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