Essay On Nursing Homes

History Of Nursing Home

The history of nursing homes begins in the 17th century. In Europe, this first began in the 19th century when women and church groups started to provide services to elderly people in need.  In America, services like daily meals, shelter, and healthcare were also provided to orphans and mentally challenged people. During the time of various wars that history witnessed since the 18th century, like the World Wars, Civil War, and Spanish-American War, churches often had hospitals attached to them where nuns and nurses provided care to the ill and injured (Egenes, 2017). With time nursing became an independent profession since nurses had to travel to remote areas during wars to support the ill or the wounded. Further development in the field of nursing came with various pandemics that affected the world during different periods like the Spanish flu (the 1920s), Cholera, (early 1900),  Smallpox, Typhoid fever, and Plague (Saarivirta, Consoli & Dhondt, 2021). Hospitals could not accommodate the huge population of people. Small shelter houses spread throughout the country served the purpose and reduced the pressure on doctors. It also became possible for such a huge number of patients to get medical assistance.

With time, these shelter houses developed into caring homes with qualified doctors and experienced nurses. Post wars and pandemics, these shelter houses kept on providing service to those in need (Molina, Gil & Corpa, 2021). They started to function independently providing care not only to the ill and wounded but also to those who are aged and physically challenged. The nuns were replaced by professionals and slowly those became professional organizations of healthcare. These organizations came to be known as Nursing Homes.

Definition Of Nursing Homes

Nursing homes can be described as care centers where people with any health issues are provided with medical care and support.  It involves medical care, taking care of dietary needs, different forms of therapies, and, maintenance of a healthy environment to enhance positive health outcomes. They are most suitable for people who are not sick enough to need hospital care but also unable to stay at home alone. Nursing homes are mainly inhabited by the elderly generation unable to take care of themselves on a daily basis (Sanford et al., 2015). They are also cost-effective and thus, can be accessed by people of a wide economic spectrum. They consist of a wide variety of staff including registered nurses, assistant nurses, physicians, therapists, dieticians, physiotherapists, and psychologists.

The main service in a nursing home is provided by registered nurses (RN). They take the major responsibilities of all the residents and provide the primary medical care required for them (Norful et al., 2017). Most of the registered nurses are highly qualified with years of expertise. Other than medical guidance they are also skilled communicators and have skills like showing empathy, and patience. They are highly responsible for their service and are accountable for any issues taking place with the patients. Assistant nurses (AN) work under the supervision of RN. They support residents in daily life activities like bathing, eating, changing clothes, and using the bathroom (Gartshore, Waring, & Timmons, 2017). They also have to check if the basic requirements of the residents are met or not. Qualified doctors of all expertise are present who conduct daily health checkups for ill patients. They are also consulted in case of emergencies.

Who Needs Nursing Home

Nursing homes are most relevant for those requiring long-term care and support. Patients in need of 24-hour care and supervision opt for nursing home services. For the old and physically handicapped, they assist in daily life activities like bathing, dressing, eating, and monitoring health and medicines. Doctors and registered nurses are available throughout the day to handle any emergency health deterioration of patients and provide the required care and treatment without delay. Treatment of certain diseases like cancer, kidney disorders, liver transplant, and heart surgeries can be exhausting. Patients often become weak and require constant service post-treatment (Chan et al., 2020). Nursing homes come as a great help for them. The nurses help them to develop their immunity and energy post surgeries or chemotherapies. They ensure proper intake of medicines, maintain the daily diet and keep a track of parameters like blood pressure, blood sugar, oxygen content in the body, and pulse rates.

Nursing homes are also a lifeline for thousands of disabled children who do not get enough in-home care and support. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, about 4000 children live in nursing homes in the U.S. Most of them suffer from mental retardation or physical disabilities. These children are provided with special therapies like speech therapy, walking therapy, and mental counseling to help them develop with age. The length of stay also varies from person to person. The most common time opted for is three months or less. Some treatments like kidney disorders may take long periods like two to three years. Those requiring end-of-life or palliative care are usually permanent residents until their last day of life.

Importance Of Nursing Home

Nursing homes have been one of the important development in the healthcare sector throughout history. For patients with mild symptoms, staying in hospitals can be stressful both mentally and economically. Moreover, in hospitals, there are high chances of cross infections (Wang, Cao & Chen, 2021). Since there are patients with a variety of health issues, there are high chances of spreading infectious diseases like the flu. The environment in hospitals is also depressing. Patients staying for long can develop mental and psychological issues like depression and frustration. Hence, other than chronic emergency conditions, long-term stays in hospitals might not be helpful for all patients. This is where nursing homes come helpful. In nursing centers, not only physical treatments and daily life care are provided, but the mental health of the people staying is also taken into consideration. Often people are involved in physical activities like exercises, yoga, and group activities suitable for their mental happiness.

The advanced care planning services that are being initiated in recent time also takes into consideration the values and ethics of patients (Waldrop, & Meeker, 2012). In this system, patients can express and record the preferences of the care system they wish to get once they lose the capacity to communicate with the health staff or family members in the future. It has become an important factor in the provision of palliative care and has helped the older generation to live up to their will till the end of their life. They have made it possible for more people to seek medical aid when needed. These organizations have also helped to reduce the pressure on patients in hospitals. In the current pandemic of COVID-19, where the entire world suffered, nursing homes were the lifeline to all victims requiring oxygen support and medical help.


Nursing is an act of taking care of the sick, injured, mentally challenged, and disabled in times of their illness. It is the core of the healthcare system. Nurses play an important role in the entire healthcare process. They are responsible for meeting all basic needs of patients and ensuring that the doctor’s advice is met accurately (Norful et al., 2017). When a patient is brought to hospitals or nursing homes, nurses check the medical history of the patient and conduct basic tests to ascertain the symptoms and the diseases. The importance of nursing is not only to the sick and injured. It also plays an important role to the old and aged person who cannot take care of themselves and need constant support even to perform daily life activities like bathing, eating, dressing, and taking care of physical health like daily medicines (Chan et al., 2020). Some people also require advanced forms of medical aids like dialysis, daily insulin shots, and oxygen support. These guidances are also provided in nursing.
The profession of nursing needs to follow various rules and regulations to ensure the safety of patients. the ICN Codes of Ethics for Nurses provides a guideline of the social values and norms nurses are expected to follow (Stievano, & Tschudin, 2019). These ethical conducts mainly state that nurses should treat each patient equally and ensure no discrimination is done based on religion, race, gender, and socioeconomic status. Their primary aim is to ensure the safety of patients and increase their health outcomes. the main ethical principles in nursing are autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice (Haddad, & Geiger, 2018). These principles are the basis of nursing and all the actions of nurses should follow the following principles.


A patient is someone who is suffering from medical syndromes and required medical care to become fit. They may deal with physical pain, chronic diseases, mental disorders, psychological issues, or disabilities. They usually suffer from pain and exhaustion and thus seek the help of hospitals and nursing homes. Some patients having mild issues do not need constant monitoring. In those cases, they visit doctors but continue the prescribed treatment by themselves in their houses. In case of severe issues, when constant monitoring and advanced treatment procedures are required, they are hospitalized.

The most common issues with which patients come to nursing homes are bone fractures, dementia, irritable bowel syndromes, people requiring dialysis on a daily basis, breathing disorders, and mental disorders like depression, suicidal tendencies, and extreme OCD (Patra et al., 2017). Patient suffering from chronic diseases like cancer, strokes, and organ dysfunction requires a higher degree of care and treatment.  According to a study in 2013, the mean age of residents in nursing homes was found to be 80.3 years (Briggs et al., 2013). This is because the older generation was seen to suffer from chronic ailments like dementia, cognitive impairment, and weakness of the body. Most of them required palliative care which was not possible in their respective houses (Robinson et al., 2017). They also serve as a lifeline for sick childless couples or those staying in different nations. Other than that, children with birth defects or chronic disorders also take shelter in nursing homes for proper analysis and care.


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