Nursing Strategies For Improving Aged Health Care Free Term Paper

This paper explores the various nursing strategies that require implementation in order to achieve the best health outcomes for the aged.

Introduction

Most countries in the developed world are experiencing fast growth in the ageing population. Consequently, there is an increase in the number of victims facing challenges that are associated with disability, as well as illness. This scenario is piling up pressure on the national amenities that are established to cater to the health of the aged. Insurance programs have been established with the purpose of providing solutions to the challenge, but difficulties that hamper the successful execution of the intended mission keep emerging. More personnel and training are required to enhance the capacity of nurses and other caregivers in handling the situation. Equally, more resources and planning are required to ensure that the rising population of the aged does not overwhelm the authorities and governments. This paper analyses the contemporary demands expected of nurses as far as the aged care environment is concerned. The paper also explores the various strategies that require implementation in order to achieve the best health outcomes for the aged.

Contemporary Demands on Nurses in Aged Care Environments

The contemporary demands faced by nurses who are charged with offering care to the aged mainly border along the lines of critical nursing research (Scholarly Editions, 2011, p. 103). Continuous studies and research excursions are mandatory for purposes of benefiting from the profession’s scientific basis (Stephens & Ledlow, 2010, p. 99). In the present day, the nursing fraternity concerned with the aged targets the provision of quality services. This can only be achieved if multiple philosophical, as well as theory-based approaches, are used, in addition to other diverse methodologies (Møller & Huschka, 2009, p. 72). The essence of research is to provide an understanding on illnesses that affect the aged. This establishes a solid basis for handling illnesses at their acute or chronic stages. Knowledge generated from research can also be used to address illnesses and disabilities before they arise. Research in nursing is also bound to help in the discovery of mechanisms and techniques that will help in slowing disease and disability progression (Stephens & Ledlow, 2010, p. 99). The result of such health studies would be the discovery of effective approaches that would, in turn, help in achieving and sustaining optimal health. As the situation grows complex, nurses need professional socialization, as well as educational processes to remain competitive. These will result in adequately prepared nurses and scientists in the sector. There is a growing demand for efficiency and effectiveness. This demand can only be met if the primary participants, the nurses, undertake continuous nursing research (Scholarly Editions, 2011, p. 113). Achieving this objective, however, is quite demanding for the authorities since research requires a lot of financial resources to support the mission. It equally requires more time for nurses to undergo refresher courses after every short while to be equipped fully. The basis for research is to generate knowledge that can be turned into solutions to questions and concerns that constantly pop up concerning old age health. As lifestyles change and new practices get adopted by people, health conditions also grow complex and become difficult to address using old practices and treatments. Thus, research work and extended studies help in discovering new ways through which the situations can be contained by allowing the old to live longer before developing ailments and coming up with highly efficient methodologies of containing pain even after creeping in (Stephens & Ledlow, 2010, p. 100).

Probable Strategies to Offer the Best Outcomes

Partnerships and collaborations in research

Forming partnerships and collaborations will help players in the nursing sector to elaborately conduct research and study programs toward improving aged health care services (Institute of Medicine, 2009, p. 23). Institutions can play a major role in implementing this by coming up with adequate mechanisms that help in improving linkages across programs on research. Although studies are conducted at present, mostly with single-discipline investigators and at single sites, collaborative research will help in widening the scope of studies. There is a need to have more input in research from universities and research institutions to avoid fragmenting research efforts. Such collaborations are likely to bridge the current gap in a knowledge base. The current gap in knowledge is the main cause of limited services on offer by the nurses (Larson, 2003, p. 268). Most of the chronic and acute illnesses that afflict the aged in society mutate over time (Møller & Huschka, 2009, p. 81). It may be difficult to handle these conditions effectively if there is a narrow knowledge base (Institute of Medicine, 2009, p. 25). Collaborations also help in planning research work and studies such that they can extensively be covered and result in better results compared to covering a whole area at once. The virtue of the nursing profession teaming up with institutions of learning will most likely lead to better results because there will be a little interruption, on the part of nurses, from ongoing research and studies. Ideas from various stakeholders are likely to result in a comprehensive research and study schedule. This will eventually result in high-quality performance among nurses. The old will benefit from such programs because they will receive proper healthcare service aimed at curbing their specific illnesses and disabilities. Instances of health complications among the aged will be curtailed because of the improved healthcare services provided by the highly knowledgeable nurses (Institute of Medicine, 2009, p. 33).

Funding for research

The contemporary demand for nurses to keep checking the rising number of chronic illnesses from an ever-growing community of the aged requires adequate funding for related research. It is quite clear that the resources meant for nursing research have been strained severely given the scale of nursing research, the expanded numbers of scientists who are well versed within the scholarly community, as well as the numerous societal and health aspects that demand attention. Facilitation of nursing research will no doubt call for major sources as funding as a way of establishing long-term research programs (Byington, 2003, p. 128). Nurses providing the aged with healthcare services stand the chance to benefit a lot from such programs because they will be in a position to generate new knowledge that will effectively address the current situation of recurrent chronic ailments and disabilities.

A significant amount of resources will be needed to achieve the desired levels of funding that could eventually ensure that appropriate research is achieved. The government may establish special programs with budget allocations to enable this objective to be obtained. With improved research and studies, the aged in society will equally stand a better chance to benefit from quality services. Ailments and disabilities that currently maim the old will be eliminated to a great degree and the pain that they undergo put to check (Byington, 2003, p. 128). Better services resulting from adequately funded research will reduce the heavy burden that is currently felt because of many old people relying overly on health care services. With the reduction in chronic and acute ailments, only a few among the aged will exceedingly require total care. Many others will have the energy to go about their private lives and businesses, only needing healthcare services on very few occasions. Thus, the financial burden will eventually be reduced and the funds will be channeled to other important programs.

Clear career trajectories

With the current demand being on improved services and professionalism in order to cater for the ever increasing demand and challenges, a clear career trajectory for the nursing profession will offer answers to the challenges. The typical nurse has a generally problematic career trajectory that only contributes toward worsening the condition when it comes to providing healthcare services to the aged. Many nursing professionals face the challenge of late doctoral commitment preparation. This often ends up truncating research opportunities, as well as leadership opportunities (Winkelman, 2006, p. 205). The old career pathway in the nursing profession is to blame for the slow development in nursing research since it contains very short research programs. Moreover, the career pathway hinders researchers in the nursing profession from providing leadership, more so on health policy at the national level. There is need for nurses to enjoy incentives in early doctoral programs entry. This will help in their resolve to determine the objective of their career. It will also help in creating the appropriate commitment that they require within their resolve. Healthcare provision for the old is slightly different from other services offered by nurses since it requires adequate mental preparation and skill development to be able to meet the challenges therein (Winkelman, 2006, p. 205). There is also need for career nurses to be informed of the expectations that shall be required of them, especially when they choose and offer to provide services to the old in society. This is an important move because it also helps in preparing healthcare service providers psychologically such that they become fully aware of all the requirements and demands that relate to their profession (Winkelman, 2006, p. 205).

Planning the career trajectory helps in determining some of the necessary training and study needs that nurses will require prior to their graduation. Training and research needs can be organised systematically such that they do not end up becoming a financial challenge to individual nurses opting to undertake the studies. Such positive planning may not be realised if clear career trajectories are not determined (Winkelman, 2006, p. 205). The basis of such career plans ought to be generated from the changing health conditions that relate to the aging in society. This must also be constantly updated to reflect the new health scenario for the old such that the care plans, services, and training may turn out to be a true reflection of what the challenge is all about. Career trajectories help in achieving planning objectives because they help in collecting details and information that makes it easier to plan for the necessary solutions. Health experts and experienced nurses can play a leading role in determining the career trajectories to be applied for healthcare service providers. Other experts, mainly from the educational sector, may also play an important role in making contributions in designing the career trajectories. The above systematic planning and organisation are meant to ensure that nurses obtain comprehensive training that would, in turn, equip them adequately to address the demanding training needs (Winkelman, 2006, p. 205).

Conclusion

Healthcare services for the aged have increasingly grown in demand in the contemporary situation, particularly in the case of most developed countries. Such countries have their population structures typically defined by a huge number of the old. With such large populations of the old, there is huge demand for authorities and the society at large to cater for their health needs since the old are mostly frail. This poor condition heightens health conditions such as chronic and acute ailments among the old. The biggest challenge faced by nurses, who are depended upon to offer healthcare services, is the fact they have a very narrow knowledge base. The aged mainly suffer from mutating health conditions that require healthcare providers and professionals to remain better equipped to tackle the challenges. The nursing profession, therefore, requires extensive research and study programmes to generate adequate information and knowledge on how to tackle the old age illnesses. However, this can only be achieved through arranging for sufficient research funding programmes and collaborations, especially between institutions related with the health of the aged. Governments need to have strategies that can help in funding research activities. With improved research and studies, nurses will have quality knowledge on how best to handle aging and its related health conditions. The old will equally benefit from improved health services.

References

Byington, R. L. (2003). Healthcare strategic management: The impact of state and federal funding levels on the implementation of strategic plans at Tennessee hospitals. (Order No. 3118980, East Tennessee State University). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 128-128.

Institute of Medicine, (2009). Initial national priorities for comparative effectiveness research. Washington, D.C.: The National Academies Press.

Larson, E. L. (2003). Minimizing disincentives for collaborative researchNursing Outlook, 51(6), 267-271.

Møller, V., & Huschka, D. (2009). Quality of life and the millennium challenge: advances in quality-of-life studies, theory, and research. Berlin: Springer.

Scholarly Editions (2011). Issues in sociology and social work: Aging, medical, and missionary research and application. Atlanta, GA: ScholarlyEditions.

Stephens, J. H., & Ledlow, G. R. (2010). Real healthcare reform: Focus on primary care accessHospital Topics, 88(4), 98-106.

Winkelman, W. J. (2006). The technological transformation of self-care: A patient-driven adaptation of the technology acceptance model for evaluation of patient-accessible electronic medical records. (Order No. NR15826, University of Toronto (Canada). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 205-205.

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