ii. The nursing care of sick patients (a) in the interest of his or her mental and physical comfort, and (b) by reason of the disease from which he or she is suffering
Nurses form a very important group the largest single technical group of personnel engaged in patient care in hospitals next to doctors, consuming approximately one- third of hospital costs.
Although there is a close historical association between medicine and nursing, as both of them are involved in direct patient care, one of the persistent problems is that of defining what nursing care should be, and what is distinctive about it.
There are attempts at defining nursing in terms of procedures and techniques that emphasise skill at the expense of knowledge and understanding. Nursing have to function within unstructured as well as structured patterns of relationship, and numerous external factors affect the nurses’ role.
Some see nursing as a performance of tasks designed to help and comfort patients in a dependent role, carrying out orders of physicians, where the nurse is not perceived to require much background knowledge in order to carry out her functions.
However, another view as seen by nurses themselves emphasises a decision-making role which views nursing as a team effort interacting with the physicians and other health workers.
This school views nursing as separated into managerial (decision-making and leadership) and technical (cure and care services) activities.
A synthesis of the above two, an interactive model that covers nursing assessment, intervention, instruction for patients and managerial tasks in fact a total management of nursing appears to be the most appropriate.