- The Role of Transitional Care Nurses in the Health Care Facilities
- Current Developments in the Field
- The Reasons for the Future Development
Transitional care nursing is considered to be the most exciting field in health care.
This care deals with the continuity and coordination of medical treatment between different facilities such as hospitals, patients homes, nursing homes, medical offices, and so on. It involves a wide range of health care practitioners who are well aware of patients goals, needs, and health care problems. Nowadays, in the age of intensive technologies, patients demand greater mobility and interdependence afforded by the transitional care nurses. Thus, their duties and responsibilities are expanding while demanding further development of the nurses educational programs. The purpose of this paper is to show that transitional care nurses have been always initiators of changes in the health care settings that led to impressive results.
The Role of Transitional Care Nurses in the Health Care Facilities
Nurses are the largest category of health care workers, and the transitional care nurses take a separate place. Their role is assistance in a movement of patients from one setting to another, such as from short-term care to long-term or from rehab to home (Black 125). Patients can need assistance also while moving within departments of the same hospital or from hospital to home. Thus, transitional care nurses are responsible for every movement of patients during their treatment or rehabilitation.
As a rule, the nurses provide care to elder patients with serious health problems. The transitional care nurse should handle everything smoothly and be responsible for each patients treatment, medication, and hospitalization. According to Sitko (n.d.), in 2015, 21 percent of patients aged 65 and older needed a long-term care including consultancy with about ten physicians during one health event. The transitional care nurses had to arrange all these examinations and consultations.
Transitional care nurses can transfer 40-70 percent of patients daily, and they should follow them everywhere because they are mostly helpful during the patients movements (Black 127). The transitional care nurses should communicate with different professionals to avoid medication errors, errors in taking drugs, delayed treatment, and patient falls, thus, the nurses duties are rather complicated. They act as physician assistants in health care settings, perform medical appointments and carry out nursing process (Beck 76). As a rule, the transitional care nurse has all the essential information about the patient and can provide information concerning his or her treatment at any time. They are also responsible for patients sleep, nutrition, and pain control. For this reason, they seem to be the most respectful professionals for patients who rely on their assistance.
Current Developments in the Field
It has become a common practice that nurse is a valuable professional in health care because she spends more time with patients than physicians do. Recently, the transitional care nursing became incorporating the progressive care, as nowadays patients demand greater mobility and interdependence even while they are at a high risk of instability. The progressive care was introduced more than ten years ago but nowadays it is gaining momentum (Ecklund, and Bloss 62). Transitional care nurses seem to fully realize their tasks and improve their techniques and experience in this relatively new sphere of nursing. In his article, Sitko (n.d.) discusses strategies for interdisciplinary teams that are in use in many national hospitals. Lately, transitional care nurses work in cooperation with interdisciplinary team members, what allows them to participate in the performance of health care settings. Team members focus on improved mobility that encourages them to hold a personal responsibility for patients safety.
Furthermore, in recent times the health care facilities rely on well-trained nurses who provide transitions in time and assist patients in accordance with their goals, needs, and requirements. It includes education of patients and their families, logistical arrangements, coordination of all operations and consultations with healthcare professionals who are involved in this activity (Sitko n.d.). These functions can considerably improve patients abilities. In order to maintain their tasks, the nurses complete a nurse-driven program where they determine goals, activities, and draw perspectives.
The Reasons for the Future Development
No matter in what health care setting the transitional care nurses work and what level of experience they have, there is a need for further development. It is important to continue education, taking different training and courses that may improve the level of their preparation. Moreover, nurses should be well aware of new practices that may help them to improve their work and educate patients and their families. Beck (68) believes that education and training may help find ways to prevent patients from the transition as rehospitalization is bad for patients health and is a result of their poor understanding of a disease and its treatment.
The most recent achievements in clinical medicine and the opportunity to manage the process of treatment of many systemic diseases require improving the organization of training not only for doctors but also for nurses.
A health care setting is a complex system that needs a participation of all health care stakeholders. However, the role of the transitional care nurses requires a separate attention because they perform very important functions. They provide transitional support for older adults, arranging different appointments, examinations, and consultations with different physicians that may improve their health. Moreover, the transitional care nurses educate patients about medications, nutrition, self-care; they design and implement health care plans. In order to cover these areas, they must be well prepared. Their professional preparation is of the greatest importance for patients, for the health care settings, and for themselves.