Is nursing so invisible in NCD management?
Before nursing became the Nursing profession, there was nothing much expected from nurses. They were to do as they were ordered without much thinking. Then came Nightingale who transformed nursing into a modern profession. In simple words, she started instructing her little band of nurses to take care of neglected little things that she knew would make a huge difference: personal touch to care, advocating for higher standards of hygiene and nutrition among other things. Being a wise nurse, she knew that documenting and disseminating her work would be of great help someday. She was very right! When the army's top hierarchy and the medical superintendent at Scutari attempted to derail her 'disturbing' work, the public rallied behind her in unprecedented way that won even the queen's support (Attewell, 1999). The rest is history, for the nurse who was looked down upon ended up becoming very influential on healthcare policy issues, and her influence helped advance nursing and medicine culminating in gigantic improvements in patient's care.
In this 21st century, nurses are taking care of so many little things which make a huge difference in management of NCDs, but are we disseminating to the world what we are doing? In the spring I was curious to know how visible nurses are in the management of NCDs. After conducting an online search in PubMed, CINAHL, Ovid and Sciencedirect databases I was shocked by the results. My search results indicated that the only reported efforts to develop or refine nursing specific models for NCDs lasted for a very short period, between 1998 and 2003.
Although the reported models were applied in Scotland (Campbell et al., 1998; Murchie, Campbell, Ritchie, Simpson, & Thain, 2003) and Africa (Coleman et al., 1998), impressive success was reported in all cases. It is worrying that despite the success reported, the efforts appears to have dwindled.
I could be wrong because my search was not exhaustive, but if our beloved profession dreams to get its rightful place in the high tables of NCD policy, we must develop and own up a nursing model of handling NCDs, and like Nightingale, we must let the world know what we are up to! Just an opinion though!
Attewell, A. (1999). Florence nightingale.UNESCO:International Bureau of Education. Retrieved from http://www.ibe.unesco.org.ezproxy.lib.umb.edu/fileadmin/user_upload/archive/p...
Campbell, N. C., Ritchie, L. D., Thain, J., Deans, H. G., Rawles, J. M., & Squair, J. L. (1998). Secondary prevention in coronary heart disease: A randomised trial of nurse led clinics in primary care. Heart (British Cardiac Society), 80(5), 447-452.
Coleman, R., Gill, G., & Wilkinson, D. (1998). Noncommunicable disease management in resource-poor settings: A primary care model from rural south africa. Bulletin of the World Health Organization, 76(6), 633-640.
Murchie, P., Campbell, N. C., Ritchie, L. D., Simpson, J. A., & Thain, J. (2003). Secondary prevention clinics for coronary heart disease: Four year follow up of a randomised controlled trial in primary care. BMJ (Clinical Research Ed.), 326(7380), 84.