Nursing is an honorable profession of restoring a patient’s health through medical treatments and emotional support. Healthcare heroes have been serving the mass population with their indefinite and selfless services despite the risks that can be life-threatening to them. Even during the current situation of COVID-19, the healthcare workers did not step back and managed to provide standardized care to patients despite the prevailing challenges such as lack of PPEs devices and increasing workload.
However, with the economic downfall, the healthcare industry also experienced the short staffing of nurses. This was majorly due to a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases flooding the hospitals for an indefinite time. Other important factors contributing to the growing shortage of nurses include the ever-increasing number of the aging population and the retiring workforce, burnout issues, excessive workloads, limited supply of skilled workforce, etc.
Under all the circumstances, the role of specialized nurses such as the Family Nurse Practitioners (FNPs) has been crucial. These practitioners deal with people’s physical and mental wellness, specifically the new parents and their families. In contrast to other specialized nurses, FNPs extend their services by providing patient care across various lifespans. However, their treatment methods include counseling, instructing, and developing awareness about underlying issues related to a patient’s health and those related to parenting and caring for newborn babies. Very often, we come across professionals who are centered on providing their services solely within a limited sphere.
Today, several FNPs work as healthcare providers and contribute to the healthcare sector by conducting examinations, diagnosing illnesses, prescribing medications, overseeing routine checkups, recommending therapies, educating patients about their health concerns, etc. However, considering their increasing contribution, several hospitals prefer to hire competent and skilled FNPs.
Hence, given the increase in virtual education, several nursing schools now offer online education programs to meet the supply and demand of nurses. Besides, many practicing nurses can now acquire advanced education through nursing masters programs online to upskill their career prospects.
In this article, we’ll shed light on the role of FNPs and how they contribute to healthcare.
FNP’s Course of Action
In many instances, it has been observed that not all parents are privileged enough to have a strong financial and educational background. This leads them to nurture their children in non-favorable circumstances. In many cases, the new mothers are not much aware of the dos and don’ts of pre and post-natal care, which either directly or indirectly affect mothers and their child’s wellbeing. Similarly, those experiencing their second pregnancy find it difficult to manage their family life due to the overwhelming responsibilities related to their first and second-born child.FNP plays a major role in educating young parents about various health concerns and issues that are likely to occur from the initial days of the pregnancy to post-delivery. However, some of the major responsibilities of FNPs include;
- Recording patient’s health history, performing a physical examination to devise a treatment plan
- Diagnosing patients’ physical and mental health condition
- Promoting a healthy lifestyle by educating them about healthy behavioral changes
- Communicate with families and other caregivers to improve patient care
- Refer patients to other specialists (as required)
- Provide health and wellness care to mothers and their babies
- Treating chronic conditions like hypertension
- Educating young mothers and their families regarding infant and family care etc.
FNPs Contribution to Healthcare
Other than fulfilling some of the responsibilities mentioned above, the following are some ways FNPs contribute to healthcare.
Fill Staffing Gaps
According to the recent statistics, in the upcoming years, the US healthcare sector will have more than 100,000 job opportunities for registered nurses. Besides, it has also been anticipated that more than 500,000 RNs will likely retire by 2022. This projects the need to hire more nurses in the near future. Under these circumstances, FNPs contribute to filling these gaps through their innumerable services like monitoring and taking care of their patient’s treatment plans, maintaining patient’s records, etc.
These nurses also provide primary care solutions to patients due to their vast knowledge and experience in the field. These nurses further provide training to fresh nursing students resulting in improved quality of care.
Saves Healthcare Costs
FNPs can also decrease healthcare costs by providing an effective treatment plan that does not include unnecessary medication and treatments. In addition, they can further save healthcare costs through accurate documentation and reporting patients’ symptoms. Since these professionals are also responsible for educating patients about recurring diseases, it might develop positive behavioral changes among people.
With the rise in the use of technology, many nurses now connect with their patients through telehealth services to provide better consultations and cost-effective care. This further decreases patients’ unnecessary visits to the emergency department, making health care more accessible. Through telehealth services, people can study more about their health conditions and ways to improve them.
Improved Patient Care Outcomes
Like every other nurse, FNPs are compassionate individuals that specifically focus on improving healthcare outcomes for patients. With strong communication and interpersonal skills, these health experts help and guide patients and their families throughout their treatment process. This patient-centered care helps in stimulating positive behavioral outcomes, as patients feel more knowledgeable and valued throughout their treatment process. It also affects their treatment outcomes and increases patient’s satisfaction with the quality of care.
FNPs act as one of the most important contributors to healthcare. These professionals are responsible for performing various tasks, ranging from diagnosing and treating various healthcare issues. FNPs further help and guide new moms to ensure their and their child’s well-being and play a critical role in decreasing the burden from the healthcare sector.
Read more: How Nurses Are A Blessing To Society