Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare system. They are responsible for providing patient care, ensuring that patients are safe and comfortable, and helping to explain test results. But they also have an essential role in making pathology better.
Nurses play a crucial role in managing patients’ lab results and ensuring that results are delivered on time and accurately. Nurses can help ensure that when patients are admitted or discharged from the hospital, their test results are in hand so that physicians can make informed decisions about their care. Nurses can also help ensure laboratory technicians know what to do to get results back quickly.
What is pathology?
Pathology is the study of disease and the changes in body tissues that result from a disease. Pathologists are physicians who have specialized training in this field. They look at body tissue samples under a microscope to identify diseases and determine the course of treatment.
Pathologists work with several tissue types, including blood, bone marrow, lymph nodes, spleen, liver, kidney and pancreas. A pathologist may also examine other fluids, such as urine and saliva.
A pathologist often has a particular area of interest. For example, pediatric pathology focuses on studying diseases that occur in children. In addition to identifying the type of disease affecting a patient, a pathologist can also determine how advanced it is based on how much damage it has done to specific cells or organs. This information helps doctors plan their treatment strategies accordingly.
What do nurses do in pathology?
Nurses in pathology play a crucial role in the field of medicine. They carry out various duties, such as:
Nurses in pathology have several roles, depending on the facility and the nursing specialty. The most common job for a pathologist’s assistant is to collect specimens. These nurses usually work in hospitals and other healthcare facilities, where they are trained to perform various tests on tissue samples and body fluids.
Most healthcare facilities require their employees to wear protective gear such as gloves, masks, gowns and goggles when working with samples from patients.
Nurses in pathology also learn to use special equipment such as microscopes, centrifuges and other laboratory tools. They may also be required to help doctors interpret test results or make medical decisions based on those results.
Prepare patients before examinations
Nurses in pathology also prepare patients for examinations by providing them with information regarding the testing process and any precautions they should take before undergoing any procedure involving blood or tissue samples to be sent to a laboratory for analysis or diagnosis. For example, if a patient needs an X-ray of their lungs, the nurse will instruct them on how to prepare for it so that they experience minimal discomfort during and after the procedure.
Protect the integrity of specimens
The nurse is responsible for ensuring that all specimens are correctly identified and labeled before they arrive at the laboratory and that specimens are properly processed, stored and transported to ensure their integrity.
Nurses have an essential role to play in the laboratory. They can help with specimen collection by ensuring that all needed information is collected before the arrival of the specimen at the laboratory. This helps to ensure that there is no mix-up with another patient’s sample, which could delay diagnosis and treatment.
The nurse may also explain how samples should be collected and what materials must be used (eg. sterile or non-sterile gloves). Nurses must also inform patients about what might happen if they do not follow instructions carefully.
Once a sample has been received at the lab, it needs to be immediately processed, so it does not become contaminated or degraded. The nurse monitors this process until it is completed and then ensures that results are promptly delivered back to the doctor.
Help reduce errors in pathology
Medical errors cause more than 250,000 deaths yearly in the United States alone — a staggering number that is likely even higher if you include non-fatal errors like wrong diagnoses or unnecessary treatments.
Nurses have an opportunity to reduce these mistakes by ensuring that pathologists receive precise instructions about how tests should be conducted and interpreted. Nurses can also help prevent mistakes before they happen through quality improvement initiatives like checklists.
Help with patient assessment
Nurses play an essential role in the assessment of patients before testing. They collect data about the patient’s health history, such as their age, gender, and symptoms. This information is crucial for determining which tests are appropriate for each patient. For example, cardiac catheterization is only necessary for patients who have experienced heart attacks or other heart problems. Therefore, if a patient has been experiencing chest pain but has no other symptoms of heart disease, this test may not be necessary.
Nurses also collect data on patients’ medical conditions and the medications they are taking. This information helps determine whether they can safely undergo testing without risk of complications or adverse reactions from their medications. Nurses also monitor their vital signs during this process and ensure they are stable enough for testing before proceeding with any procedures or tests.
Help patients understand their test results
Another role of nurses in pathology is to help interpret test results for patients and follow up on their care needs. Nurses can help with pre and post-test counseling, which will help patients understand what to do before the test and how to manage any symptoms they may experience afterwards. Post-test counseling helps patients know what to expect during their recovery period and when they can resume normal activities.
Nurses can also help interpret the patient’s pathology test results. This is especially useful for those unfamiliar with medical jargon or who need help reading the results themselves. For example, if a patient may have cancer, but there is not enough evidence from the biopsy sample, a nurse might explain this possibility and recommend further testing (such as CT scans or X-rays).
They also provide education on post-operative care for surgical procedures and other medical treatments to help patients recover from surgery quickly and without complications.
Teach patients about preventive care
Nurses have a vital role in diagnosing, managing and preventing diseases. They work with patients to understand their needs and concerns and help them make informed decisions about their care.
Nurses educate patients on the importance of preventive care measures, such as diet, exercise and smoking cessation, to reduce risk factors associated with certain diseases or conditions. They also inform patients about monitoring their health status through regular physical examinations and tests.
Nurses teach patients the importance of early detection opportunities for cancer screening so they can take appropriate measures before it is too late. They also provide education on managing chronic diseases like diabetes mellitus or hypertension by monitoring blood sugar levels or controlling blood pressure. This helps ensure that patients adhere to their prescribed treatment plans to enjoy long-term health benefits, in addition to reducing the risk of complications during hospitalization.
Prepare patients’ family members
Nurses provide patient care and education in hospitals, clinics and private practices. Nurses also work with patients’ families to provide support and education on how to help the patient at home after discharge.
Nurses specializing in pathology will have a strong understanding of preparing patients and their family members for what they may encounter during their treatment or recovery. They will explain what is happening with their body, why it is happening, and what they need to do next.
Nurses also prepare patients’ family members for what to expect during this time and help them understand what procedures will be performed on their loved ones throughout the process. They may also educate them about what to expect throughout the treatment or recovery.
Carry out administrative duties
Nurses in pathology perform a variety of functions. Some nurses perform administrative duties such as scheduling appointments, updating patient records and planning consultations or follow-up care.
Guide lifestyle changes
Nurses also provide counseling on lifestyle changes needed to improve health outcomes, such as eating healthier meals or exercising regularly. One example is counseling people at risk for heart disease or stroke about healthy diet choices such as eating less processed food and more fruits and vegetables.
Nurses are also responsible for educating patients about their condition so they can manage their own health and work with their doctors as part of an overall treatment plan. For example, nurses may teach a patient with diabetes how to monitor their blood glucose levels, administer insulin injections and eat a healthy diet low in carbohydrates.
Where nurses can work in pathology
Nurses can choose from several subspecialties of pathology, including:
Cytopathology is the branch of pathology that studies and diagnoses neoplastic, pre-cancerous and inflammatory diseases of the cells. Cytopathologists are medical laboratory specialists who examine cells taken from various human tissue specimens using a microscope. They look for abnormal characteristics in cells that could indicate cancer or another health problem.
Cytopathologists work in many settings, including hospitals, private laboratories and academic research institutions. In addition to examining microscopically prepared slides containing tissue samples (diagnostic cytology), they also perform studies on liquid preparations called smears or cytocentrifuged material (cytology).
Hematology is the pathology branch concerned with studying blood and its diseases.
A hematologist is a doctor who specializes in diseases of the blood and blood-forming organs. Hematologists diagnose, manage, and treat conditions such as anemia, bleeding disorders, cancerous and noncancerous tumors that arise in blood-forming tissues, clotting disorders and immune system issues.
Hematology services are provided in the following ways:
Inpatient hospital services
Inpatient hospital services provide hematology care 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Hematology specialists are on call 24/7 to provide emergency care and consult with patients admitted to the hospital with blood disorders or bleeding problems.
Outpatient clinics offer routine hematology care for patients who do not require intensive monitoring or close supervision by a physician. Outpatient clinics also provide education about the prevention and treatment of diseases affecting the blood system and follow-up care after patients have been discharged from the hospital.
Forensic pathology is a subspecialty of pathology in which pathologists perform autopsies and determine the cause of death. Forensic pathologists are often called upon to perform autopsies when there is suspicion that a crime has been committed or there has been medical malpractice.
Forensic pathologists must be able to work with human tissue in various stages of decomposition. They also need excellent communication skills because they must testify in court cases about the results of their work. As such, they must be able to explain complex medical issues in layman’s terms.
Forensic pathologists typically spend their time in a morgue or coroner’s office performing autopsies on people who have died under suspicious circumstances or whose bodies have been donated for research purposes. Forensic pathologists may also work in hospitals as part of a team that performs autopsies when patients die unexpectedly from unknown causes.
In addition to performing autopsies, forensic pathologists may also provide consultation services for medical examiners or coroners during homicide investigations and other cases involving death by unnatural causes.
Medical microbiology is a branch of microbiology that deals with microorganisms that cause human disease or illness. It deals with the study of how pathogens (disease-causing organisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, protozoa and helminths) interact with their hosts and identify and characterize these organisms. Medical microbiologists are doctors who have completed medical school and had specialized training in medical microbiology.
A medical microbiologist could work in a hospital laboratory to diagnose diseases. They could also work in public health laboratories where they would help to identify outbreaks of infectious diseases.
In addition to their diagnostic role in medicine, medical microbiologists may also be involved in basic research projects that aim to understand how microbes cause disease, in order to develop new ways to prevent infection or treat infections more effectively.
Immunology studies the immune system’s response to disease, infection and foreign substances. This specialty requires extensive knowledge about how the body’s defense mechanisms work and how these mechanisms can be stimulated to fight certain diseases. Immunologists also use their knowledge of immunology to create vaccines that help ward off infectious diseases like influenza or measles.
Toxicology is the study of toxins and the effects they have on humans. A toxicologist is someone who studies the effects of toxins on humans. Toxicology can be further broken down into sub-disciplines such as environmental, forensic, experimental and industrial.
Toxicologists may find employment in many places, including hospitals, universities, pharmaceutical companies and other research institutions.
Traits a nurse needs to become successful in pathology
Traits that enable pathologist nurses to improve the quality of care include:
A pathologist nurse needs to have empathy. This is because the patients they deal with are very sick and in pain. They can be very emotional, especially when dealing with their mortality.
The pathologist needs to understand how the patient feels and what they are going through. This will help them communicate better with the patient and their family.
Strong communication skills
It is crucial for a pathologist nurse to have good communication skills because this will help them explain what is happening in their field of work to those who do not understand it as well as they do.
Good research skills
A pathologist nurse should also be a good researcher, since they need to be able to research new methods and treatments when they are dealing with different types of diseases.
Since every patient is different, you must have the ability to solve problems quickly and effectively. You will face different situations daily and must be able to tackle them head-on.
You will make critical decisions regarding your patient’s health and wellbeing as a nurse. Your job requires advanced cognitive skills so that you can easily make quick decisions based on available information.
Ability to multitask
For you to succeed as a pathology nurse, it is essential that you have excellent time management skills and can easily juggle multiple tasks at once without having any difficulty.
An advanced degree can land you a role in the pathology field
Nurses play an essential role in improving the quality of pathology services. With the help of advanced master’s programs, nurses have access to an array of resources that can help them better understand and diagnose diseases. These resources also provide nurses with the necessary skills to effectively communicate with other medical professionals and patients and develop critical thinking skills necessary for making accurate diagnoses.
Furthermore, nurses can use their knowledge and experience to educate patients on preventing certain diseases and illnesses. By doing so, they can help reduce the number of unnecessary tests or treatments, thus improving overall health outcomes. To find out if a Post Master’s FNP Online is suitable for you, click here.
Nurses are in a unique position to make pathology better. They can improve the quality of patient care by making the pathologists’ jobs easier and more efficient.
Nurses are often the first point of contact for patients who may be in a vulnerable state. When a nurse looks down at a patient’s paperwork and sees that they are having blood tests done, nurses can help them understand what to expect. They can answer questions about how long it will take and how much pain or discomfort the patient might experience during the procedure. And if there are any specific instructions after their visit, they can ensure the patient knows about them.
Afterward, nurses are also an important resource when patients have questions about results or what comes next. The knowledge a nurse has of how medical services work allows them to offer advice on how patients should proceed with treatment plans, what symptoms they might expect after recovery, and other helpful information related to their case.
Pathology is integral to modern medicine because it helps doctors diagnose diseases that could go undetected until it is too late. But pathology would not be possible without the work of nurses.