The Role of Registered Nurses in Healthcare Delivery in New Zealand - Paper Example

Published: 2022-12-20
The Role of Registered Nurses in Healthcare Delivery in New Zealand - Paper Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Healthcare Healthcare policy Nursing care Human services
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1852 words
16 min read

A registered nurse is a graduate nurse who has met all the requirements and standards set by the state and the licensed body. The roles of a registered nurse are regulated and monitored by the nursing council or body given authority by the state. Nursing is a profession that is within the sector of health care and is concerned with providing care to people within the community to achieve and maintain optimal health care. Nursing covers various specialties such as critical care nursing, cardiac nursing, ambulatory, dental nursing, emergency nursing, diabetes nursing, and public health nursing. Nursing as a professional unit is evolving over the years with many people being interested in the discipline.

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The field of nursing has in recent years seen more men in this field which was ideally perceived as women-dominated. Due to the evolving of the nursing occupation, nurses need the best training in the areas of technology as well as cultural safety. The rapid growth in technology and economy has led to the development in the nursing sector. Due to these developments and changes, many countries are adopting the idea of training nurses with specialized knowledge to students trained with the emphasis being put in cultural safety. Nurses have to make sure that the patient gets the best healthcare. Health services in New Zealand cover a wide variety of services. Some of these services are health improvement and diseases prevention service, and consultation, medication and treatment, and advice to patients. There was a report from a survey done by the NatMedCa (National Primary Medical Care Survey) between 2000 and 2001 that determined that in New Zealand most people who visit health facilities for health care, go for consultation services. In light of this statement, registered nurses in New Zealand play a significant role in ensuring that in the process of healthcare delivery, cultural safety is ensured to allow and enable universal care to the patients.

Overview of Cultural Safety in New Zealand

Culture is the lifestyle, shared beliefs and values, worldview, and norms that guide the behavior of people in a society. Cultural safety a concept that helps nurses understand power differentials inherent in healthcare delivery as well as addressing the inequalities through the educational process. It helps them understand the culture of people they are interacting with during work. In New Zealand, cultural safety is an idea that is being introduced to nursing students to equip them with the knowledge on how to handle patients in a better manner to improve health care (Papps & Ramsden, 1996). This concept includes teaching students who are taking a nursing course how to determine and understand how personal, professional power and cultural aspects relate to each other, and how they impact healthcare delivery. Nurses have a role of contributing to healthcare delivery, and therefore the idea of cultural safety enables them to consider difficult concepts such as racism, prejudice, and discrimination while providing universal care. People who are taught cultural safety come from different background, have different values, experiences and beliefs and these differences can affect the uptake and understanding of cultural safety.

In New Zeeland incorporating cultural safety in nursing education was a way to respond to the poor status of the health of the people of Maori in New Zealand. There was a high number of people with heart diseases, mental illnesses, deaths caused by asthma, cot deaths, increase in the smoking of tobacco among women and youths, and the rise of high risk behaviour and committing suicide. According to Papps and Ramsden (1996), there was a change in nursing education that was initiated by nurses from Maori, and most organisations dealing with nursing have taken an initiative to support the idea. The process of formalising this aspect began in 1988 where Maori student nurses and nurse educators attended meetings in the Christian church and came up with cultural safety standards to be followed by Maori nurses. Furthermore, Papps and Ramsden (1996) highlight that in 1992 cultural safety became a requirement for anyone planning to pursue nursing and midwifery courses in New Zealand. The Nursing Council of New Zealand has the govern nurses by coming up with standards to monitor nurses to ensure they provide quality and proficient care to the New Zealand public. The aspect of cultural safety ensures good quality in health care by looking into matters such as health care and effective communication.

Importance of Cultural Safety to Health Care

Cultural safety is more about the behavior of a nurse and their attitude towards the patients. Culturally safe health care is dependent on caring qualities that a nurse inherits when studying nursing philosophy. Cultural safety brings about the connection between the health consumer and the nurse because how they relate matters a lot and will influence how health care is delivered (Sandra & Tracey, 2007). The place where a nurse works, their values, and beliefs will determine how culturally safe care is incorporated in nursing. Cultural safety is essential in health care because it helps nurses identify and evaluate their values and beliefs and identify how they can have an impact on the people they are interacting with when performing their duties. It also helps in recognizing that people's culture is different by understanding this; the nurse will be able to treat everyone equally without considering their lifestyle. The concept also helps the nurses recognize the index of power inherent and the possibility of disparity and unequal treatment. Nurses can reflect on their own culture

Limitation of Cultural Safety

Although cultural safety is a concept that is important and helpful to the delivery of health care, if it is not implemented in the right way, it might not work how it is expected to. Cultural safety deals with self-reflection of nurses and does not dwell much on the patients so if the nurse is not able to understand their culture properly then it would be difficult for them to identify how they will impact the health consumers hence the nursing relationship is compromised, and delivery of health care is also affected.

Role of the Registered Nurses' Contribution to Healthcare

While students are pursuing their nursing courses, they learn a lot of concepts that help in the provision of quality health services that meet the requirements of each patient. The roles of registered nurses vary from simple duties such as performing a physical examination to patients to more complex activities such as decision making (Fran & Carryer, 2005). These complex activities have high risks; hence they require to be carried out with great professionalism and high competency with specific skills. Registered nurses in New Zealand acquire these special skills during training where they are taught about cultural safety. Cultural safety is an aspect that helps nurses provide better health care to patients since they can treat all patients by knowing how to deal with patients from all cultures. Different people have diverse cultures and believe so it would be difficult for a nurse to perform their roles in contributing to better healthcare if culture hindrances are available. Registered nurses in New Zealand who learn cultural safety are equipped with knowledge on how cultural, professional power and personal aspects affect healthcare; hence by understating this, they can incorporate the knowledge to attain quality health care (Wepa, 2015). Registered nurses have a role of observing patients and recording their behaviour. How patients behave, tells a lot about them. And when one observes patients' behaviours, they can determine how they will handle the patients to ensure that the patients get the intended care and best service in treatment ("Code of Conduct," n.d.). Nurses record the patient's symptoms and provide them to doctors for them to analyse the symptoms and identify the disease which they are suffering. Recording of the patient medical history is useful for the hospital for future reference in case the patient visits the hospital with similar problems.

Nurses also have the role of communication. Efficient communication is very crucial when dealing with various patients. A lot of people from different places visit hospitals each day, some of them are educated; some are not, it might be difficult for nurses to communicate with non-educated patients. Nurses have to find a polite way to interact with them. Communication is a factor that can help in the improvement of the healthcare environment. How well one communicates with the patients determines how well the patients will give information and how well one will provide healthcare to patients. During training, nurses must be taught how to communicate with the patients, members of the family who are involved with the patient, and also the healthcare team members that they work together. Cultural safety helps nurses with efficient communication since they can understand different people and their culture making it easier to communicate. A nurse has the role of giving patients the care they require, either physical, psychological or emotional support ("Code of Conduct," n.d.). Providing proper care to patients helps in the healing process. Nurses should be available for their patients and family members anytime they need support because it helps them feel better thus improving healthcare. According to Venom and Papps (2015), nurses' attitude when a person visits a healthcare facility, determines how they will feel, either they feel demeaned, or it makes them feel better. If the person feels demeaned, they may prefer to go to another facility to seek better healthcare. Nurses should provide care to patients who need it more or example patients who are suffering from chronic disease and cancer may require more attention compared to a patient suffering from fever or headache.

Continuing Competence

The Nursing Council of New Zealand clearly outlines how to register for a nursing course and the roles and ethics that nurses are supposed to adopt once they are done with training. There is a clear outline of what nurses are expected to do to provide quality healthcare to the public. Nurses play a significant role in educating patients because patient education is a crucial aspect because it helps in recovery and reduces the cost of readmission to hospitals. Patients have a right to be educated about the disease that they are suffering from, how they will be treated and the medications they receive.

Additionally nurses should take the role of following up patients who visited with chronic diseases such as hypertension, other heart diseases, and diabetes, to provide more resources, educate them on a diet and how to live a healthy life and how to go on with treatment after leaving the hospital (Kent, Horsburgh, Lay Yee, Davis, & Pearson, 2005). By teaching these patients, they will be able to live better lives and avoid going to the hospital regularly. Nurses are being trained on how to relate with various patients from different walks of life, and this improves healthcare for the patients. Nurses also have the responsibility of taking care of patients and their safety. Doctors examine patients, and after they give them medication, after that, it is the responsibility of nurses to look after the patient. A nurse must ensure that the patients take the correct dose and make sure there are no errors made during medication.

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