What is Bedside Nursing?

The role of bedside nursing is becoming increasingly important as healthcare systems become more complex


The role of bedside nursing is becoming increasingly important as healthcare systems become more complex and patients require more specialized care. The importance of bedside nursing cannot be overstated. Bedside nurses work to improve patient outcomes, patient satisfaction, and healthcare efficiency.

The trouble is, not all bedside nurses are equipped with the time and tools they require to provide high quality, compassionate care to patients. Nurses are often tasked with caring for multiple patients simultaneously, which can lead to burnout and may take away from patient care.

Nurses Role in Patient Care

In this article we explore how healthcare organizations can recognize the critical role bedside nurses play in patient care and invest in the necessary time and technology resources to support the delivery of high-quality care. Read this article to learn:

  • What is bedside nursing?
  • The benefits of bedside nursing
  • Advocacy for bedside nursing
  • Compassionate technology for bedside nursing

What is bedside nursing?

The CDC describes direct patient care as face-to-face contact between nurses and their patients for the purposes of assessing, diagnosing, or treating illnesses or injuries. Bedside nursing is direct patient care that takes place in a range of care settings and is considered a cornerstone of healthcare systems. Beyond basic clinical care, such as administering medications and monitoring vital signs, bedside nurses provide compassion – a therapeutic aspect to nursing that has benefits to patient outcomes.

Bedside nurses who provide a high level of compassion to their patients find:

  • Healthcare team morale and job satisfaction are higher.
  • Caregivers’ trust and satisfaction with the healthcare industry are increased.

Bedside nurses provide holistic nursing, which includes physical, emotional, and psychological support. They are often the first point of contact for patients and their families, and they serve as patient advocates, ensuring patient voices are heard and patient rights are protected.

The benefits of bedside nursing

While doctors play a critical role in forming diagnoses and developing treatment plans, nurses spend significant time helping patients heal and find comfort on a day-to-day and even hour-to-hour basis.

Bedside nursing and patient pain management

When it comes to pain management, bedside nurses are the first responders to patient needs. They assess pain levels, implement appropriate pain management strategies, and advocate on behalf of their patients’ needs. Research suggests that patient pain can result in increased length of stay in hospital. However, research also indicates that compassionate bedside nursing can decrease patient pain by providing patients with therapeutic relief that can help them to successfully manage pain. Through their expertise and compassionate care, bedside nurses help to ensure that patients are as comfortable as possible during their hospital stay.

Bedside nursing and reduced anxiety

In addition to helping patients manage ongoing pain, compassionate support from bedside nurses can also help patients feel less anxiety during medical intervention. Whether patients are nervous about a first-time procedure, or they have anxiety about recurring treatment, bedside nurses use their communication skills to establish trust with patients and provide reassurance.

The positive effects of compassionate bedside nursing may include:

  • Providing safer patient care
  • Increasing patient satisfaction with care
  • Improving patient self-confidence when coping with new or chronic illnesses

Bedside nursing and infection prevention

The compassionate care that bedside nurses provide can also help to reduce the risk of healthcare-associated infections (HAIs). A bedside nurse who frequently checks on patient wounds or IV connections, and regularly checks in with a patient’s pain level, is in a strategic position to catch signs of infection. Bedside nurses are also responsible for implementing and enforcing infection prevention control measures such as hand hygiene, use of personal protective equipment (PPE), and isolation precautions to prevent the spread of infection. Additionally, nurses educate patients and their families about infection prevention and control measures to minimize the risk of acquiring or spreading infections. Infection prevention can lead to reduced costs, shorter hospital stays, increased efficiency, and improved patient satisfaction.

Advocating for bedside nursing: Importance of time and tools

Job satisfaction in nursing deteriorated during the COVID-19 years, and burnout and turnover rates in the healthcare industry continue to be a major problem that can impact patient safety. Change begins with advocacy for improvements at the bedside – both for nurses and patients.

Investing in compassion-led medical care may lead to the following outcomes:

  • Make a clinician’s job easier
  • Increase clinician job satisfaction
  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Benefit the healthcare industry as a whole

Nurses give a lot to their patients – sometimes at the risk of their own health – but when healthcare managers and corporate leaders are on board with providing the time and tools nurses need to do their jobs, the benefits increase for everyone.

Compassionate technology for bedside nursing

The importance of compassionate technology and medical devices cannot be overstated when it comes to improving the job of bedside nurses. The value of integrating technology and medical devices designed with an understanding of the needs at the bedside – for both patients and healthcare teams – is important. Medical devices and related healthcare technology aim to:

  • Improve patient outcomes
  • Reduce medical errors
  • Streamline workflows

For healthcare professionals dedicated to patient-centered care, minimizing discomfort is a key concern. Covalon is dedicated to supporting healthcare teams in this mission.


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Journal of Oncology, vol. 2021,: Effect and Nursing Satisfaction of Bedside Nursing Combined with Detail Nursing in Clinical Nursing of Gastroenterology Department 

‘All these things don’t take the pain away but they do help you to accept it’: making the case for compassion-focused therapy in the management of persistent pain

McKinsey & Company – Healthcare’s next chapter: What’s ahead for the US healthcare industry 

CDC – NHSN Healthcare Personnel Safety Component Key Terms

Springer Nature – The importance of compassion and respectful care for the health workforce

Northeastern State University – What is holistic nursing?

Oncology Nursing News – Six ways nurses can advocate for patients

Iranian Journal of Nursing and Midwifery Research – Effects of pain management program on the length of stay of patients with decreased level of consciousness

Journal of Oncology – Effect of Nursing Satisfaction of Bedside Nursing Combined with Detail Nursing in Clinical Nursing of Gastroenterology Department

Environmental Research and Public Health – Impact of Nurse-Patient Relationship on Quality of Care and Patient Autonomy in Decision Making

British Journal of Pain – ‘All these things don’t take the pain away but they do help you to accept it’

American Nurse – Compassionate Connections

CDC – Types of healthcare-associated infections

Nursing – Infection Prevention and Control Core Practices 

Modern Healthcare – Infection control can reduce costs, improve outcomes

CNN – About 100,000 nurses left the workforce due to pandemic-related burnout and stress 

Health Expectations – More than a feeling? What does compassion in healthcare look like to patients?

Journal of Nurses Professional Development – Engaging Bedside Nurse in Research and Quality Improvement

John Hopkins Medicine – Making their voices heard

British Journal of Nursing – Infection control and the bedside nurse 


Disclaimer: The information contained on this blog is provided as a resource only, and is not to be used or relied on for diagnostic or treatment purposes, or as a substitute for professional diagnosis and treatment by a medical professional.

If you are an individual reading this, please consult your health care provider before making any health care decisions, for guidance about a specific medical condition, and for use of any specific products. Covalon expressly disclaims responsibility and shall have no liability for any damages, loss, injury, or claim whatsoever suffered as a result of your reliance on any of the material or information contained in its blog articles or on the website

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