Chronic illness creates special healthcare problems for patients, both in the hospital and when they are discharged. These patients may require intensive education about managing their condition, the use of medical devices, taking medication and other issues that are vital to their care. The role of nurses is critical in the education and monitoring of these patients, so that they can resume their normal lives in an effective manner.
Chronically Ill Patients
Chronic illness is defined as any non-contagious illness that last for an extended period of time, are not expected to resolve spontaneously and cannot be entirely cured. Heart disease, stroke, diabetes, arthritis, obesity and cancer are all considered to be chronic illnesses that commonly affect the population.
Patients with these diseases may have had an acute event and lengthy hospitalization. Aftercare is critical for maintaining a stable level of health. These patients often have special needs that require continuous monitoring of their condition to ensure that medical maintenance is being done properly and that additional conditions do not arise because of medical care.
How Nurses Help the Chronically Ill
Patients with respiratory conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and mesothelioma are often at the greatest risk of medical problems and require ongoing health education after being discharged from the hospital.
Nurses are an important factor in educating patients about how their medications should be taken, how to use medical equipment and how to self-monitor to determine when further medical help is needed. This type of intervention can have a significant effect on the health of those dealing with chronic illness on a daily basis.
Nurses For Chronically Ill Patients
Many different types of nurses can be helpful in providing the ongoing monitoring and education of patients with chronic illness. Transitional care nurses set up the medical services and devices that patients will require at home after they are discharged after a hospital stay. Registered nurses may be part of the community health team that assists chronically ill patients in managing their illness in their daily lives.
Licensed practical nurses monitor the patients’ condition and alert other health professionals of the need for other measures. All of these nurses help to improve outcomes for those who must manage chronic illness on a daily basis, according to the National Institutes of Health.
No matter what disease or chronic illness you are battling, keep up the fight and never lose hope. Seek trusted professionals, like nurses, to help along the way.
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About the Author:
I joined the Mesothelioma Cancer Alliance in 2011 as an awareness advocate for natural health and cancer cure initiatives. You will often find me highlighting the great benefits of alternative nutritional, emotional, and physical treatments on those diagnosed with cancer or other serious illness. I also assist in social media outreach in my efforts to spread awareness.