MOUNT VERNON — The role of nurses in the schools, hospitals, heath care facilities, parishes, hospices, nursing homes, physician offices, clinics, and educational institutes is vital and important to a functioning society.
“The nurse, a lot of times, is the eyes and ears for the patient,” said Sandra Beidelschies, chief nursing officer at Knox Community Hospital. “Sometimes, because the patient has a physical disability, an accident or they’re undergoing surgery, the nurse’s role is to be the [patient’s] advocate.”
Over the centuries the role of nurses has taken shape into a profession of in-depth training, education, research, and much more. Even today, the role of nurses continue to progress as technology and medicine continues to evolve.
“Nurses didn’t used to go through education programs or schools of nursing to be taught nursing. They used to be taught by religious orders so nuns and priests did a lot of the healthcare way back in history,” said Beidelschies. “Nursing primarily used to be taught by hospitals who had their own schools of nursing attached to them,” said Beidelschies. “A lot of it was apprentice learning — where it was an unpaid labor or very minimally paid labor — within a hospital while you learned the craft from other nurses or physicians. That gradually migrated to external locations or programs where you were not a part of the labor pool of a hospital; you went to school like it’s known today.”