Health is a significant factor in our lives, and how significant it plays in our social, economic, and political lives was brought to the fore by the emergency medical situation created by the Covid-19 pandemic. It exposed how important it is to re-imagine diseases and illnesses as communal threats to our health globally. Health issues that threaten communities require dedicated teams of medical professionals, scientists, technical specialists, doctors, and nurses.
Public health issues influence communities at large and need equally large measures to counter their threat. It is important to address societal concerns that stem from genetic problems to mental health issues, addiction, and physical dependency. These concerns can disrupt people’s lives if not tended to appropriately. Medical professionals are needed to address health issues immediately and work for disease prevention without compromising the quality of care. Medical advancements call for an increased demand for nurses in the public healthcare sector. The US has over four million registered nurses, yet the demand for nursing professionals continues to grow.
Worldwide Healthcare and Nursing
No matter which specialization in nursing you pursue, it is important to stay up-to-date with global healthcare issues. Research is generally associated with doctors’ practice and technical, medical innovation but rarely do you hear about research related to nursing. It can shape the education, research, and practice embedded in the field of nursing. It will help better understand public healthcare concerns and enhance research and medical technological advances.
The further you advance in nursing, the more opportunities you will find to affect change. These opportunities will open doors for you. You must consider where you are at in your nursing career and what can you do with a DNP (Doctor of Nursing Practice). You can pursue an online BSN to DNP and unlock vast career options for yourself. Distance learning can help you gain an insight into global healthcare and its importance. A global perspective is important if you want to bring real change and make a bigger impact.
In many places around the world, healthcare facilities and the number of doctors and especially well-qualified and trained nurses are insufficient. Nurses act as an interface between the community and the healthcare system. They play a key role in patient care as they are directly responsible for their patient’s day-to-day care. If it were not for these nurses, people would not receive medical attention. In other words, they are more on the frontline than doctors are.
Nurses face many situations each day. Let us look at some of them.
Management and Regulation of Infectious Diseases
As nurses take care of patients’ daily needs, they are also responsible for helping control the spread of diseases. They constantly work in outpatient and inpatient care facilities. Preventing the spread leads to high cure rates. For example, in Peru, nurses ran a successful program for drug-resistant tuberculosis and created a record for the world’s highest cure rates.
In most of the far-flung rural areas worldwide, people cannot pay doctors, so the number of doctors is limited or non-existent. Instead, nurses act as midwives, and they look after mothers before, during, and after childbirth. Nurse-midwives specializing in maternity care look after newborns and play a crucial role in providing medical services to these mothers.
Primary Healthcare Services
Nurses are often responsible for primary healthcare in rural areas that lack medical facilities. When physicians cannot provide primary care, nurses offer their services to the community instead. The Family Nursing Practitioners (FNP) play the role of semi-doctors who can deal with most illnesses and diseases except for critical cases, for which they need a physician’s approval.
Key Global Health issues
Due to evolution and ecological transformation, infections and diseases spread irrespective of national or geographic boundaries. Old infections that the world had overcome re-emerge with new symptoms, become a variant of the old ones, and spread across the globe. The role of nurses is key in tackling a number of these issues. Let us look at the reasons for this.
Poor Living Conditions
Rape, being forced to live in inhumane conditions, the unavailability of clean drinking water, and access to food. They pose a great threat to the health of communities, with increased chances of developing new diseases. In addition, human trafficking poses an even greater danger for the spread of diseases.
When a woman dies while pregnant, during or after childbirth, maternal mortality, death of newborns due to premature birth, birth injury, or negligence can also lead to long-term medical concerns. It can happen under extenuating circumstances, poverty, and lack of facilities. The reasons for both underlies in lack of care of the new mother. In some cases, women are unaware of self-care while pregnant. In others, they end up giving birth in the wrong places.
Healthcare in War Zones
Even though the WHO bars armies from attacking refugee camps, they get bombed. In war zones, injured and sick people stay cooped up in camps, increasing the risk of diseases. The nurses and doctors-to-patient ratio is 1:5-6 or even more in such places. It means catering to multiple people with different problems at once.
Lack of Healthcare Provision
Most of the less developed or underdeveloped countries lack basic medical infrastructure. It means a lack of access to medicines and medical equipment. Countries that cannot afford basic infrastructure lack medical education as well. Consequently, there is a shortage of nurses and nursing education, resulting in a shortage of qualified people to provide appropriate care.
Distance learning can help bring down such drastic health impacts on communities. Specializing in a field means bringing about real change, not just in your country but also worldwide.
Overview of Global Public Health
World Health Organization expects global health issues to grow in the coming years, even though trade will improve medical infrastructure and advancement. Still, healthcare professionals have a wide untapped gap, which means increasing demand for doctors and nurses in highly crucial health areas. Nurses’ position in relation to communities gives them a unique insight into potential solutions. They can identify, implement and then evaluate engagement initiatives to educate communities regarding global health issues. They can work together with legal practitioners to develop and initiate policy changes to improve the current problems. Additionally, motivate people to join the nursing profession and work together with healthcare workers, which will surely help raise healthcare system standards.
While pursuing your nursing degree, it is important to have a global perspective. Branch out your career options not just in your country, but stay up-to-date with worldwide health phenomena. It will help you get wholesome knowledge and experience if you want to help people around the globe. Change is slow, but its steps are important.
Some global health concerns include poor living conditions leading to the spread of diseases. Maternal mortality and child mortality rates in underdeveloped countries. Healthcare in war zones where people seek refuge in camps. Lack of medical provisions in rural and underdeveloped nations.
In addition, the high demand for healthcare in the coming years points toward the urgency of the matter. Therefore, pursuing a specialized program in the nursing field is highly distinguished. You can even pursue an online doctoral degree in nursing which will unlock career options. Not only that, but you will be able to work beyond borders in a well-respected career and work towards health equity.