Celebrating International Nurses Day: Honoring the Unsung Heroes of Specialized Care

May 10, 2024
3 min
Justin Hallen, VP Partnerships

Nurses are the backbone of healthcare. They tirelessly navigate the intricacies of patient care with compassion and expertise. As we celebrate International Nurses Day on May 12 (as well as Mother’s Day of course), it's imperative to shine a light on the remarkable contributions of nurses, especially in specialized care facilities where their dedication and skill truly shine.

A recent article on MedicalXpress highlights the critical role specialized nursing facility (SNF) clinicians play in enhancing the quality of life for patients with complex medical needs. These clinicians provide a nurturing environment for patients and their families to receive personalized care tailored to their goals of care requirements. Such an approach not only improves health outcomes but also fosters a sense of dignity and well-being among patients. In the study of over 2 million nursing home residents aged 65+ from January 2012 to 2019, they found that SNFists managed about 46% of this group and decreased risk of hospitalization by up to 6%.  

SNFists, armed with specialized training and experience, serve as the linchpin of the care team, orchestrating a holistic approach that addresses not only the physical ailments but also the emotional and psychological needs of patients. Their ability to forge meaningful connections with patients and families creates a supportive atmosphere conducive to healing and recovery. Their skills often lead to a decreased likelihood of residents experiencing stressful hospitalizations and improved quality of life in their last days. Whether it's administering complex treatments, managing chronic conditions, or providing emotional support during difficult times, these nurses embody the essence of caregiving in its purest form.

The article underscores the importance of fostering a collaborative environment within specialized care facilities. Nurses work hand-in-hand with interdisciplinary teams comprising physicians, therapists, social workers, and other healthcare professionals to develop comprehensive care plans tailored to each patient's unique needs. This collaborative approach not only enhances efficiency but also ensures seamless coordination across different facets of care, ultimately leading to better outcomes for patients.

Of course, this all starts with having an in-depth advance care planning or goals of care conversation with the patient, their loved ones, and healthcare surrogate. By digging deep into what really matters to the patient at end of life we can typically reduce the number of transfers between care facilities and interventional treatment [which may not have a positive impact on the longevity or quality of life]. Transfers are traumatic for patients and their families. Having to meet new providers, understand new settings, and treatment plans. Working closely with your SNF to remain in one place may be your best bet for a comfortable end of life. Thanacare is utilized by all clinicians including SNFs as a place to converse, record, and share your goals of care. You, your loved ones, and the care team need to be aligned on your plan. Our platform allows you to record a video of you stating your goals of care and anything else personal you want your team to know so that it’s not just a piece of paper informing the care plan. 

As we celebrate International Nurses Day, let us take a moment to recognize and honor the remarkable contributions of nurses in specialized care settings. Their compassion knows no bounds, their expertise knows no limits, and their dedication knows no rest. They are the heart and soul of healthcare, and their tireless efforts deserve our utmost respect and appreciation. Let it also be a reminder to create or review your goals of care by speaking with your closest clinician.