Nursing is a call (vocation) to serve. Nursing is an art of utilizing the environment of a patient, so as to assist him in his recovery. This includes care of the whole patient (his mind as well as body), the care of the patient's environment (physical as well as social), and to provide health education and other health services to the individual, family and society for the prevention of disease and promotion of good health.
'Service' to the mankind is the primary function of the nurses and the reason for the existence of nursing profession. Accordingly the nursing involves the following areas:
- Helping a patient to carry out the therapeutic plan initiated by the doctor.
- Providing physical care and emotional support for the sick and disabled.
- Planning and teaching the patient and his family in relation to the restoration and promotion of health and prevention of diseases.
- Helping and receiving help from other members of health team to plan and carryout a total programme of care for the individual, family and society.
- Observing and evaluating the patients response to his/her illness and care.
- Participating in research related to health care.
- To provide basic nursing care.
The International Council of Nurses(I.C.N) accepted the following definition " Nursing is the unique function of the nurse, that is to assist the individual (sick or well) in the performance of those activities contributing to health or its recovery that he could perform unaided if he had the necessary strength, will or knowledge"
It is a systematic process of problem diagnosis, problem analysis, development of plan of care and continuous assessment of evolving plan of care. It is an individualised plan based upon scientific principles and concepts in the form of understanding on the part of the nurses and the utilization of specialised skills and techniques for the care of the 'whole patient', that is to say meeting the physical, psychological, spiritual, social, economical and intellectual needs of the patient.
The main elements that we can find are:
-Nursing is nurturing, caring for and about people.
-Nursing is a service to the individual, the family and the community.
-Nursing is educative.
-Nursing can be either preventive or therapeutic.
-Nursing is a direct service.
-Nursing is adapted to the individual needs of the patients.