Singapore Nurses Association has taken positions on nurses’ role in the society and other issues like occupational safety and health for nurses and the impact of high technology in nursing care.
The Nurses’ Role in Society
Nurses play a key role in the promotion and maintenance of health, disease, prevention and care of the sick through collaboration with other health professionals and health related agencies. Nurses respond to the needs of society through continual education and research. Nurses should adopt a holistic approach to meet the challenges posed by rising healthcare costs and changing epidemiological trends.
Nursing is a profession with its unique body of knowledge and practice. Nurses are responsible and accountable for the service they provide. In order to maintain its competitiveness and responsiveness to the rapidly health care needs, nursing needs to foster close links with experts from the clinical and non-clinical domains to enhance it knowledge and practice base. The education and practice should be directed by administrators who are qualified.
Occupational Safety and Health for Nurses
“Patient care can only be optimized when nurses operate in an environment that is occupationally safe and hazard-free. The employing institutions is responsible for providing clear guidelines and protocols to govern, guide and monitor safe practice Staff should be adequately oriented on safety regulations and measures related to their nature of work.In the event of an occupational hazard occurrence, appropriate coverage should be provided by the institutions for the affected staff, with due regard for adequate medical treatment and satisfactory financial disbursement”.
The Nurses Role in Policy Making and Planning
“Nurses form the largest component of health care providers. They play an essential role in the continuum of care at all levels and in al sectors of the health care delivery system.As the bedrock of the entire gamut of health care services, nurse are in a strategic position to make critical decisions about the management and the practice of health care. Supported by expert knowledge, nursing skills and influencing power, nurses should be given the opportunity to be actively involved in the policy making and planning of health care services both locally and nationally”.
The Impact of High Technology Nursing Care
Nurses have a crucial role to play in ensuring that the human touch is not lost as more and more high technology equipment are introduced into healthcare facilities. High technology make available equipments and tools to assist nurses in delivering better care to their patients. However, there must not be over reliance on the use of these equipment. The clinical and observation skills of experienced nurses remain paramount; constant vigilance must enable nurses to detect malfunctioning equipment or false reading. The instruction manuals should be readily available for reference. To ensure competency in the use of the equipment, there should be on-going training programmes for nurses posted to the unit. If frequent calibration is required, support staff should be provide this service.