The Australian College of Nursing believes that nursing professionals have a major role to play in promoting and supporting the healthcare of aged people in Australia. Nursing professionals have expertise in clinical assessment, critical analysis, decision-making, managerial leadership, care coordination, and clinical role-playing to support all the professionals in healthcare setup for healthcare service delivery. Australia is the country where professionals are involved in providing support to people in settings like residential care, general practice, correctional facilities, and acute care (Bone, Gomes & Etkind et al., 2018). Nursing professionals’ practice by leading tasks in supervising and mentoring unlicensed staff. Now, in the healthcare scenario health promotion is majorly considered to limit the opportunity for rehabilitation and reablement. Nursing professionals are competent enough to respond and recognize the deterioration, functional, and cognitive decline to educate professionals in providing appropriate care. The skills and education allow nurses to provide quality end of life and palliative care for older Australians. They involve old age people in promoting older Australians social engagement, functional, mental, and physical wellness by providing quality care to patients (Kagan & Melendez‐Torres, 2015). In this essay, a critical analysis of the role of nursing professionals in healthy aging will be covered.
Australia has an aged population like many developed countries. In the year 2017, it was believed that there are approximately 3.8 million people who have their age 65 and more. This percentage is expected to rise by 8.8 million by 2057 (Keleher, Parker & Abdulwadud et al., 2017). Australia has the aging population 100,000 contributions from Aboriginals and Torres Strait Islanders who need support and care from healthcare professionals in addressing their needs. More than one in every ten older Australians live in remote and underserved areas who experience social and financial disadvantage (Kitson, 2018). This has led to great diversity among older Australians in access and engagement in services. A large number of Australian older people are on residential care in which they receive care at their homes. Nursing professionals understand the needs of aged people and facilitate them in healthy living.
The professional code of conduct of nursing professionals has set the legal implications for their behavior and expectations for Australian healthcare organizations (Kwok, Bates & Ng, 2016). They are supposed to apply nursing skills and knowledge in clinical as well as non-clinical purposes. Seven principles are included in grouping the domains for valuable care. The NMBA standards promote healthy aging by delivering their care to older Australians. Patient-centered care is provided by nursing professionals in safely, evidence-based, and person-centered care for the well-being of people. In handling patients, this involves partnerships with person and promote shared decision making to deliver their care between health professionals, family, partners, and friends. Nursing professionals get engaged with people in providing culturally safe and respectful care to foster their relationships and stick to confidentiality and privacy of patient’s information. The major role of nursing professionals is to promote the health and well-being of people, families, and communities in addressing health inequality (Kwok, Bates & Ng, 2016).
Moreover, older people are taken care of at the national and international levels by governments and agencies by promoting and demonstrating positive relationships and empathy for older people. Effective communication is followed by nursing professionals at the time of documentation and assessing the skills and barriers to encounter problems faced by older people in understanding problems (Kwok, Bates & Ng, 2016). This helps in maximizing the health outcomes through knowledge of the aging process that concern with age-related conditions and illness dealing with chronic conditions such as dementia and palliative care (Van Malderen, De Vriendt & Mets, et al., 2016). Nursing professionals have skills to provide optimal pain management and palliative care. Nurses handle older Australians with access to technology by incorporating values, attitudes, and expectations about mental and physical well-being in the provision of providing patient-centered care of families and older adults. This enhances commitment to comprehensive assessment with the identification of patients by making the use of valid and reliable assessment tools in the nursing profession. They also assess the living environment and resources in meeting the physical, social, and emotional needs of older adults. Commitment to the empowerment of clients and choices are made within ethical and legal frameworks (Kwok, Bates & Ng, 2016). The implementation strategies are designed in such a way that they use the online guideline to identify and prevent geriatric syndromes. Patient-centered care is highly followed by nursing professionals to consider the physical and mental health of formal and informal caregivers of older adults. Implementation and monitoring strategies are designed to prevent risk and promote healthcare quality and patient safety in the nursing profession to understand cognitive and physical needs. The preventable risks are pressure ulcers, medication management, and falls that happen in older adults, for this nursing professionals take care of patients to prevent these issue (Adam, Osborne & Welch, 2017). Nurses utilize and programs for the functioning and promotion of spiritual, physical, and mental health needs of patients.
World Health Organization has also set up action plans and strategies on aging and mental capacities to address the needs of older people all over the country (World Health Organization, 2016). Their comprehensive approach is needed to understand the complex factors that contribute to accessing the needs of older adults. This will help them in setting priorities based upon the needs and integration of care by setting priorities and goals of an older person in their life circumstances (Adam, Osborne & Welch, 2017). The framework set up by the World Health Organization deals with four levels such as contact, holistic, specialized, and comprehensive. The contact allows us to capture a summary of the medical records of the patient and maintaining contact for follow-up sessions. The holistic approach in the framework states the overview of older person’s functioning using various screening tools, environments, and resources. This helps in getting engaged for front-line caregiver or practitioner. The specialized care deals with providing in-depth information for providing a holistic approach to specialized assessments. This includes balance tests, memory tests, and mobility tests along with home assessments. Comprehensive care allows us to integrate into different levels of assessment in providing a complete picture of well-being and functioning. So, these are the framework approaches that are followed in the continuum of assessment for older people towards integrated care planning (Kwok, Bates & Ng, 2016).
From the above essay, nursing professionals have diverse roles in society. The role of nursing professionals is to encompass collaborative and autonomous care for the promotion of health, delivery of care, prevention of illness, shaping healthcare environment, research, advocacy, systems management, and education. Healthy aging from this essay has been understood as it begins in childhood, health promotion strategies also help in reducing overall health costs and minimizing the severity of disease of older people. Nursing professionals must be provided with education and support for healthy aging in all aged care, community, and health care centers. The community health programmers must ensure that they embrace diverse characteristics with the accumulation of older people. The programs in Australia must be developed in such a way that they include integrated chronic disease management, nutrition, smoking cessation, active living, and proactive palliative care planning. This is the main point that nursing professionals have to focus and for this, they must be provided with extensive knowledge and competency for older Australians.
Adam, S., Osborne, S., & Welch, J. (2017). Critical care nursing: Science and practice. Oxford University Press. https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=HIoLDgAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PP1&dq=ageing+care+nursing&ots=9bFn5ugKQf&sig=Cx61nkxUiPgY6d1gk-0qq-nJQwM&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=ageing%20care%20nursing&f=false
Bone, A. E., Gomes, B., Etkind, S. N., Verne, J., Murtagh, F. E., Evans, C. J., & Higginson, I. J. (2018). What is the impact of population aging on the future provision of end-of-life care? Population-based projections of the place of death. Palliative Medicine, 32(2), 329-336. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0269216317734435
Kagan, S. H., & Melendez‐Torres, G. J. (2015). Ageism in nursing. Journal of Nursing Management, 23(5), 644-650. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jonm.12191
Keleher, H., Parker, R., Abdulwadud, O., Francis, K., Segal, L., & Dalziel, K. (2017). Review of primary and community care nursing. Retrieved from: https://openresearch-repository.anu.edu.au/handle/1885/119244
Kitson, A. L. (2018). The fundamentals of care framework as a point-of-care nursing theory. Nursing Research, 67(2), 99-107. 10.1097/NNR.0000000000000271
Kwok, C., Bates, K. A., & Ng, E. S. (2016). Managing and sustaining an aging nursing workforce: identifying opportunities and best practices within collective agreements in Canada. Journal of Nursing Management, 24(4), 500-511. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/jonm.12350
Van Malderen, L., De Vriendt, P., Mets, T., & Gorus, E. (2016). Active aging within the nursing home: A study in Flanders, Belgium. European Journal of Ageing, 13(3), 219-230. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10433-016-0374-3
World Health Organization. (2016). Palliative care for non-communicable diseases: a global snapshot in 2015: summary of results from the 2015. WHO NCD Country Capacity Survey (No. WHO/NMH/NVI/16.4). World Health Organization. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/206513/WHO_NMH_NVI_16.4_chi.pdf
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