Currently, more than three million nurses support healthcare and take care of hundreds of patients who throng healthcare facilities every day. According to the estimates of the US BLS, more nurses are in the pipeline expected to assume their roles. Presently, there is a shortage of skilled nurses in healthcare which will exacerbate once thousands of nurses age out of this profession as their retirement approaches. The upsurge in the population of baby boomers is another reason leading to more demand for patient care services.
Indispensable Nature Of Nurses For Healthcare
Nurses are indispensable for healthcare because of their selfless care, compassion, and attention to detail. No healthcare can make up for nurses’ jobs, but this prestige and recognition are not easy. A nurse’s job is highly challenging; it is mentally exhausting, physically demanding, and emotionally taxing. So, if you want to be a nurse, be ready to witness death and trauma in routine. But the best aspect of this profession is the take-home feeling you get at the end of the day. A nurse goes home with mental satisfaction to save people, reduce their pain, and make their lives a little easier.
Preparing nurses for their impending duties in healthcare is part of all graduate nursing degrees, whether they are in administration or directly associated with patient care. For instance, a nursing administration master’s degree prepares you to make teams, supervise their tasks and track their progress, ensure patients receive quality care, and the unit’s overall adherence to patient care standards.
Daily Activities Of A Nurse
Nurses perform many of the same duties every day, so their work can feel ambiguous. So, if you are considering a career in nursing, you must know what it is like to be a nurse and what tasks they perform in a day. The answer to this also depends on the type of healthcare setting in which one works. For instance, a nurse in the hospital works according to shifts and moves from one patient room to another. On the other hand, a nurse working in the school healthcare may be confined to their office, provide only basic patient care services to the students, and work during school hours. However, typically a nurse performs the following tasks every day.
A nurse is typically the first person you meet when entering a hospital. They greet the patients, engage in small talk, and inquire about their reason for coming to a hospital or clinic. They hear your concerns and develop a record of all your problems, ready it for the physicians. In this way, nurses do a part of a physician’s job, and the doctor can spend more time talking to the patient and pay full attention.
When patients stay in the hospital as part of a medication treatment plan, nurses administer the medication that the doctors execute. Thus, the role of nurses is one reason that an RN frequently visits the room or the bed of a patient. Nurses also monitor the condition of the patients if there is a risk of adverse reaction to a medication. They make sure to help the patient if and when anything goes wrong. When patients stay in the hospital, nurses adhere to a strict medication schedule and administer it even at night.
As part of their job, nurses must be aware of the interaction among various drugs and make sure no two antagonistic drugs interact. If such a problem happens, nurses must promptly approach an on-duty physician.
Doing paperwork makes a significant part of a nurse’s daily work. Even if most of the documentation is online, nurses may still provide the prints to the patients and their families. Nurses help the patients with the paperwork from admission to when they are ready for discharge from the facility. Patients often require nurses’ help for making discharge papers. In addition, there are records and scheduling of medication; nurses make sure that home care goes smoothly. They help the patient and their families if they know about any procedures, including wound cleaning and dressing. This way, patients and their families have all the information even when away from the hospital.
Manage Patient Influx
Nurses work side by side with doctors and surgeons to manage an influx of patients. They develop patient care plans and help the doctors implement them. As nurses mostly stay around patients, they can also assess a change in their conditions before anyone else. They can communicate with the physicians if a certain patient care plan or medication is not working and suggest an alternative plan. The assessment can result in a change in the dosage plan or a need for new tests. They help the doctors improve patient care and manage a patient with a team effort in all cases.
Record Patient Vitals
Recording patient vitals and bio-data might be a small but important part of a nurse’s daily job. Some of the key responsibilities of nurses include checking blood pressure, body temperature, pulse rate, blood pressure and verifying the bio-data provided in the file. Through this data, Doctors gauge the health status and any patient’s predisposition to diseases. Nurses check their patient’s vitals at regular intervals to ensure health in the hospital. With time nurses learn to analyze the patient’s condition without much effort. If they find any symptoms of deteriorating health, they can promptly alert a physician and take decisive action.
Nurses not only interact with patients but also communicate with patient families. They help them navigate complicated systems in healthcare. Families may not know about the billing procedure, ask for patient transfer to a side room, approach labs for medical tests, buy medicine, issue a wheelchair or other similar aids, and the checkout procedure. Nurses help families lead them in the right direction; they often accompany them during these procedures.
Nurses perform many repetitive tasks when they are on duty. While it might get monotonous sometimes, nurses have to adhere to the highest standards of care. There are various tasks that nurses are not mandated to do but perform out of their moral duty as a nurse. Apart from patient care, they are known for their compassionate nature and emotional support. They sit with patients listen to their grievances as they realize the severity of their diagnosis. These peripheral duties of a nurse make them the most cherished asset for healthcare.