Nursing is a health care profession which involves working hand in hand with other members of health care team for treatment, safety and recovery of very sick individuals, community health promotion and treatment of live threatening emergencies. Nursing also involves much research in medical and nursing field. It may also be defined as the act of taking care of babies including breast feeding. A wet nurse is one who provides her own milk to infants. This profession cuts across a large area of medicine and nurses are distinguished from one another by the areas that operate like perioperative, pediatrics, nephrology, adult care, psychiatric, community and occupational health. It is a valuable and worthwhile profession for those who pursue it (Crystal 2000).
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Modern nursing traces its roots back to nuns and military personnel where there were individuals who would care for the sick and the wounded in times of peace and war. However as much as they had big hearts to help and care for such ,these people were not trained like modern nurses and as a result, their working conditions were poor and not favorable for the patients. One of the biggest developments in nursing world took place in Crimean war when Florence Nightingale looked into the improvement of the solders’ welfare. She authorized a book for nursing entitled ‘’Notes on nursing’’ and this laid the foundation fortraining in nursing profession. Clara Barton is another important figure in the nursing history .She helped in the foundation of the Red Cross which is up to date operational and renown in the field of treatment of live threatening emergencies and community health care. Agnes Jones helped establish a nursing school in United States, Linda Richard was the first graduate of a nursing school in the United States and Ellen Dougherty the first registered nurse in this countries. By then, this profession was regarded for only ladies but it has undergone revolution until now, both men and women wok as nurses. Over the past few decades, the number of males in nursing has drastically increased and it is expected to increase exponentially in future (Adelaide 2001).
This field of health care is important since it plays a big role in delivering the health care that is needed by the public. In remote areas where doctors are not readily available, nurses play a vital role in caring for the patients and not until when the cases are severe to be handled by doctors, they always hold high positions in serving the community health wise. They work for health promotion, educate the sick on prevention of illness and injury. They provide care, assistance in cure and rehabilitation. It is the only health care profession that has a broad and far-reaching role. It is regarded as an innovative career as trained nuurses learn to trust their own first-hand observations to generate important research leading to significant output (Marriner 2006). Since they are always with the patients, their observation skills and care allow doctors to make better diagnoses and recommend better treatments. Many lives have been saved because an attentive nurse picked upon early warning signs of an upcoming emergency like cardiac arrest or respiratory failure.Actually, the quality of nursing dictates the fate of the patient that is if the patient will live or die (Saucier 2001).
Nursing has all through been characterized by compassion, dedication and service. But as the society undergoes continuous evolution, nursing is faced by quite a number of challenges both from external sources and also from itself. Although change is often uncomfortable it is also avoidable, and the nurses should also change with the society so that their services continue being relevant to the people that they serve. One of the biggest challenges is the globalization that has seen changes in information technology and communication (Lavinia 2008).
Future nurses face the challenge of maintaining a holistic approach to patient care in a situation of growing specialization. Focus on health support, preservation, and recovery will keep on growing as long as nursing profession is held up by both the nurses themselves and the society as a whole.