Next up in the news is a look at why that last story is such an important issue. If we as nurses are dealing with bullying then we aren’t devoting valuable nursing attention to our patients where it belongs. The next article I look at has to do with the value of nurses in dealing with patients who suffer from chronic diseases.

Chronic Care Relies On Nurses

diabetes managementDiseases like COPD, diabetes, even long-term cancer suffering, all of these rely heavily on nurses to provide the bulk of the patient assessment and care. While other health professionals like physicians, therapists and others spend a significant amount of time with patients who suffer from chronic diseases. But the amount of time they spend pales in comparison to the nursing attention spent taking care of them. Nurses are integral to this care and they, in turn, need support and resources to get the necessary job done.

Two recent studies looking at nurses and the care of chronic disease patients found that when care teams included both a doctor and nurse, the patients had higher satisfaction scores than those who were cared for by a doctor alone. The nurses spend more time with the patient and were better able to answer their questions because of that additional time.

Nursing Interventions and Chronic Care

I suspect that applying nursing interventions to patient problems also added to the patient satisfaction score as well. The fact is, most of the care that every patient needs is nursing-related care. Nurses also become even more essential when the chronic disease patients approach the end of life. Palliative care is a close partner with nursing care. They are cousins.

With our continuously aging population, expect that the number of opportunities for nurses in the care of chronic and palliative patients will explode. If this is of interest to you, this could be a ground-floor opportunity for you and many other nurses out there. I’ll stay on top of this as the story continues to evolve.

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Make sure you follow-up on the links for this news item and all of the other news and additional resource links from this week’s episode – Understanding Restless Legs Syndrome and Episode 387.

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