Nursing in the 21st Century

This week I learned that Nursing had been progressing quickly and making huge leaps in the 20th century but the job of a nurse had the biggest shift during the 21st century. Nurses no longer felt helpless and instead worked side by side physicians and were able to contribute to plans of care. Also, nursing was no longer being seen as just a “women’s” job but a job for all races and both genders. Also during the 20th century, once a women was married, they were to stop working in order to be a homemaker but times greatly changed in the 21st century and women were becoming accepted in the work filed much more. There were less stay at home mom’s then ever before.

The 21st century has been full of change but the biggest change of all was the role of a nurse. Before the 21st century (during the 20th century), nursing was considered a profession where someone would “do for” a patient who was already ill or disadvantaged. The job of a nurse consisted of caring in the late stages of illness and “doing” such as, cleaning, bathing, administering, pampering, feeding, drugging, and discharging. Today in the 21st century thanks to technology, this part of nursing has changed the most. Although nursing still consists of those same duties, so much of nursing today is focused on preventing illness rather than caring for it. The job of a nurse today is teaching/educating, linking, informing, accessing, typing, and researching. Prevention of illness is key to keeping people healthy, therefore the role of the nurse has significantly changed to accommodate our knowledge.

As the public gets more informed and health care knowledge increases along with technology, people should be getting less ill and living longer healthier lives. I can see why there was such a shift in the role of nurse because in order to keep the career of a nurse alive, nurses had to evolve. That is why our job as become so greatly focused on prevention of illness rather than treatment of illness.  Many older generation nurses are having a very difficult time accepting the new role of a nurse and want to keep with old traditions where they gave the care and there was not as great a need for documentation.

I am not going to lie, the reason I love nursing so much is because I loved doing clinical work/treatments and the least favorite part of my job is the charting. I do love educating but I hate the documentation and computer side of things. I have worked in the healthcare as either a nurses aid or a registered nurse now for almost ten years and in the last ten years I have seen this change greatly. I am a little sad to see the old role of a nurse change but I understand why it does need to change and the importance that my new role takes. I think that I will always work in a hospital so I will never lose those clinical skills completely.

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