So, you’ve been thinking about becoming a nurse? Good on you for taking an interest in shaping the future of healthcare and making the world a better place.
According to the American Association of Colleges of Nursing, nursing enrollment surged by 24.3% in 2020 due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, and this number will only continue to rise.
As a nurse, you are uniquely positioned to use your voice and experience to advocate for patients within your healthcare team. You play an essential role in educating the public and preventing patient injuries.
However, this is all too broad, especially if you are only starting your nursing career. After all, different healthcare organizations call for unique responsibilities. Below is a comprehensive overview of the roles and responsibilities of new nurses in hospitals.
Almost all elements of hospital quality, including patient care, bedside and medication administration, support with procedures and other major surgeries, data gathering and reporting, are directly handled by nurses.
Specifically, a typical day for nurses in a hospital goes like this.
Conduct physical examinations
At the outset of a patient’s care, nurses frequently conduct a physical examination to determine the patient’s general health. This may involve assessing the patient’s temperature, body weight, heart rate and blood volume. The patient may also have their reflexes tested; their lymph nodes checked; and their vision, hearing, smell and throat checked during this assessment. The clinical exam allows patients to discuss their fitness goals and worries, while also giving nurses and the rest of the medical staff a current update on the patient’s health.
Initiate diagnostic tests
A wide range of diagnostic procedures may be carried out by nurses, including assessing vital signs and obtaining tissue, blood, stool, or urine samples for testing. Because they need this data to diagnose patients and create treatment plans, nurses must pay special attention to detail to ensure that these tests are done correctly. Additionally, nurses may review the findings and communicate them to the rest of their medical staff.
Record medical history and symptoms
To ensure that patients receive the proper care, nurses keep thorough records of their patients’ health. Most nurses start this approach by questioning patients about their medical history to learn about any relevant family medical history, present prescriptions, past illnesses and operations. They could also take the patient’s vital signs and inquire about their symptoms.
A nurse may change the patient’s medical record if they obtain a new prognosis, prescription, or treatment plan during their visit. To guarantee that patients receive the best treatment possible, nurses must maintain complete and precise health records.
Administer medicines and treatments
Nurses can administer medicines and treatments to their patients with their doctor’s orders. However, suppose that you are a specialized nurse who earned a nurse practitioner degree through the UIndy online accelerated BSN program. In that case, you can prescribe medications without the doctor’s approval.
They also assist with various medical procedures, such as catheter insertion, bandage changes, and wound cleansing and packing. In addition, nurses may help doctors with more complex operations or provide emergency treatment for patients in critical stages.
Track the patient’s condition
Nurses must closely watch and follow their patients to document any signs or pertinent data that might help with a diagnosis or a modification to a patient’s treatment regimen. This may entail sifting through patient records to ensure that the right medicines and doses are noted, maintaining intravenous lines to make sure that they are changed regularly, and keeping an eye on the patient’s vital signs. Nurses also pay great attention to nonverbal signals from their patients in order to determine the underlying reasons for their medical problems.
Work with healthcare teams to improve patient care
Nurses are essential in gathering patient data and communicating it to the rest of their medical team. Because working with doctors and other healthcare professionals is such a crucial job for nurses, it goes without saying that they must be outstanding communicators both orally and in writing. Additionally, clear communication may guarantee that patients and their families comprehend all the information provided.
Provide support and educate patients
Patients frequently turn to nurses for encouragement and counsel as they comprehend their diagnosis and decide what to do next. Nurses who are compassionate toward patients and their families can offer support and advice.
They might also give their patients helpful coping mechanisms or resources. This could involve giving the patient directions on how to perform rehabilitation exercises or practices and outlining the drugs that the patient must take and the date of their next session. Additional post-treatment home care requirements may need to be explained to a patient, family members, or caregivers by nurses.
Start a meaningful nursing career today
Begin your journey to becoming a nurse by signing up and enrolling on a course today so that you can start a meaningful life.