Nurses spend their day assessing and diagnosing patients and educating patients, families, and other health care providers about disease processes and treatments, administering medications or treatments as ordered by a physician, developing a treatment plan with the patient’s input, and providing emotional support to the patient and family members.
In addition to working with physicians in all aspects of health care interventions, nurses often serve as consultants on nursing care within an organization.
They help to identify the needs of patients, evaluate and make recommendations for nursing care, develop and implement policies regarding the health of the organization’s employees, and provide overall guidance to employees.
Nurses also provide direct patient care services, including physical assessment and the development of a plan for care. They also document their assessments and plan of care through patient records or notes.
Nurses are involved in all phases of patient care, from pre-admission education to discharge planning.
Nurses develop a treatment plan with input from the patient and family members as well as other health care professionals such as physicians and occupational therapists.
Nurses Can Help Prevent Disease and Save Lives
Nurses also educate patients and family members on the disease process and treatment plans.
Caregivers get information from medical records, work with physicians involved in the care of the patient, and gather information from other healthcare providers such as physical therapists, speech pathologists, etc.
In some instances, a nurse may be responsible for communicating information concerning a patient’s mortality to family members.
Nurses Must Be Able to Work Under Pressure
A nurse may have several patients who need to be assessed and treated within a short period of time.
A nurse’s workload is typically high due to the complexity of patient cases presented by the medical facilities they work at.
Right from when student nurses start their clinicals, the pressure is on to get the most out of them.
Nurses Need to Be Assertive
Nurses teach and encourage patients to be active participants in their health care.
It is important that nurses can establish a rapport with the patient and family by listening, communicating effectively, and being honest.
Nurses establish a rapport with patients by being kind, empathetic, informative, encouraging, and positive. Nurses approach each case individually, but they also learn from each clinical experience they have had.
A nurse must be able to adapt their clinical skills as diagnoses change throughout their career and display personality traits of patience, understanding, and compassion, making things easier for the patient’s family as well as themselves.
Nurses Can Enhance Lives
Because of the long hours spent with patients, nurses are expected to make time both for their job and for their families.
In a hospital setting, nurses are expected to work 12-hour shifts within a 24-hour period. This requires them to work different shifts and be on call during nights and weekends.
Some nurses also work weekends which may involve attending functions and meetings at work despite having worked an entire shift. Nurses must also attend workshops in order to remain current with the latest information related to nursing care.
The Non-Clinical Roles of a Nurse
There is a wide range of non-clinical roles for nurses.
In health care administration, nurses work in business management and finance jobs, becoming employees of an organization rather than independent clinicians. They also work in healthcare policy and administration and healthcare management positions.
In spite of the fact that most clinical nursing jobs are located in hospitals, there are others that are located in other settings such as rehab centers as well as nursing homes, and because of this difference in location, the hours a particular nurse works varies considerably.
Nursing education is one of the most popular non-clinical roles for a nurse.
Nurses in this field complete a bachelor’s degree in nursing, which may lead to an RN certification or an MSN.
They then specialize in the area of nursing they like most and begin working as a mental health nurse, neonatal nurse, or oncology nurse. They become an educator, instructor, or professor and may also work with the public via community health centers.
How Technology Is Impacting Nurses’ Jobs
To keep up with the demanding nature of nursing, today’s nurses must have a large knowledge base.
Presently, nurses must be very flexible and able to adjust their skills to meet the needs of patients in different areas of health care. Technology is the new tool that can help nurses get things done more efficiently.
People will often ask which technology tools are recommended by most nursing professionals.
Technology is having a huge impact in the medical sector, with the use of handheld devices and apps becoming more popular among nurses. Using the appropriate tool, nurses can save a lot of time with all of the communication, documentation, and data management tasks they must complete around the clock.
Electronicmedical records can be helpful in keeping up with patients’ progress and will allow for greater communication among health care professionals. Nurses will have access to patient information from anywhere at any time via their mobile devices.
This will allow them to respond to advancements quickly while being able to keep a tight grip on all relevant patient information throughout any given shift or clinical day.
When it comes to education, nurses can now use their mobile devices to access online courses that will help them keep up with continuing education requirements.
They can also watch videos, read articles,and share important patient information among different health care providers through the use of these devices.
With the growing popularity of electronic medical records, the role of nurses as well as other members of the health care team is becoming more closely linked to technology.
Nurses must have a good understanding of how technology works and will continue to evolve so that they can use it best for the benefit of patients as well as themselves in their efforts to provide accurate, safe, and quality care.
The Evolution of a Nurse’s Role
As healthcare has evolved, so has the role that nurses play in supporting effective healthcare delivery systems throughout society.
Nurses may be asked to assist physicians at work sites and in the community. They are also in high demand due to the increasing number of patients who have health insurance.
This is due to the fact that many practices that previously treated patients on an outpatient basis are now requiring them to do more work in the hospital setting, thanks to advances in technology allowing for immediate patient care as well as for monitoring patient progress with less invasive techniques.
Nurses can be found treating newborns through geriatrics in hospitals and private practices around the country.
The Future of Nursing: Implications for Nurses and Patients
As a nurse, it is important to be physically and mentally healthy.
A nurse must also be willing to learn new skills to remain competitive in the health care industry.
Nurses must be flexible, have a desire to help others, enjoy working as part of a team, and want to make lasting contributions to the community.
They should also possess strong communication skills and a desire to work with people who are in need of medical care.
The scope of practice for an entry-level registered nurse includes maintaining a safe environment, making necessary assessments, and communicating plans of care to patients and their families.
Registered nurses provide direct patient care through assessing health conditions and problems, planning treatment regimens, educating individuals on disease processes, administering medications and treatments, providing emotional support to patients as well as their families, and providing assistance with daily tasks.
As nursing becomes more professionalized and more of a business, nurses will often find they are the primary decision-makers.
Nurses may experience burnout working long shifts as well as dealing with the stress of being in charge, but with an effective work/life balance and good communication skills, nurses can truly enjoy their work.
As technology continues to advance and become more available everywhere, it will change the ways people interact with one another.
This could potentially affect the relationship between patients and healthcare professionals.
While there may be an initial apprehension from patients due to this change in the healthcare system, over time, many of them will adapt to new technology and expect similar standards from their healthcare providers.
Conclusion – What’s Next for Nurses?
It is possible that nurses could go back to school and pursue higher levels of education.
They can achieve their master’s degree, or even a doctoral degree, as long as they are willing to put in the effort and hard work required to graduate from these programs.
The options in nursing care are endless. A nurse can choose a path that will suit both their personal and professional needs.
With the ever-changing role of nurses, there should be more focus on obtaining more education in the future if a nurse wants to remain competitive in today’s healthcare market.
The growing number of nursing schools in the country should help to further professionalize and advance healthcare in the future.
With more advanced education, nurses can expect to have better job security as well as more opportunities for advancement.