Most people believe that doctors are the most crucial part of the healthcare system. But in reality, the nursing staff is as important as the other working professionals. Nurses are known for their vast experience and expertise in the field. They bridge the communication gap between doctors and patients. But while it seems like an easy job, it is quite challenging. When you are working as a nurse, you have a lot of duties. From looking after the patients to helping the doctors, there is no rest for on-duty nursing staff.
Following are some of the significant responsibilities of a nurse:
- Patient Care
One of the essential duties of any nurse is to provide better care to the patients. Nurses are the first to interact with any patient, and they must make the patient comfortable. When someone comes to a hospital, they go through severe anxiety. That is why every nurse gets training to deal with people of all kinds. From performing the tests to collecting the samples, a nurse does everything. Sometimes, they even have to help patients with food and other necessities. Suppose any working staff fails to provide adequate care to the patients. In that case, it affects the hospital’s overall image or the facility.
- Learning New Techniques
The medical field is continuously in the process of revolution. Every other day a new technique is introduced. Similarly, old ways and methods become obsolete. So every healthcare worker forever remains a student. And this includes nurses too. They have to learn and adapt to new ways as fast as possible. It helps them keep up with the field and aids them in providing better care to the patients. Some nurses start their careers early on in their professional life. After that, they get their registrations through an online RN to BSN program for further career expansion. Other times, they get jobs after completing their studies. But no matter what, they have to keep learning to get the best experience.
- Monitoring Patient’s Health And Symptoms
Because doctors are not always available, nurses have to keep a check on patients all the time. They have to do everything from monitoring their vitals like blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate to recording their symptoms. It helps them identify and rectify any changes that might occur. For example, if a patient has a new symptom, nurses inform the doctors. These regular checks are critical for both in-patients and those seeking medical care from nursing homes.
- Maintaining Patient Records
Nurses are usually responsible for delivering and maintaining medicines and other things. They also keep every patient’s record using flowcharts and sheets. This data helps the doctor in diagnosis, treatment, and other evaluations. If any of the information is lost, the working nurse is held accountable for it. From the diet a person has consumed to every hour’s vitals, they document everything. Most of the time, nurses work in shifts. So when the shifts are changed, the previous nurse’s data helps guide the next ones. And this circle continues for the entire stay of a patient.
- Planning Treatment With Doctors
People assume that nurses are only responsible for patient care and counseling. But the truth is, they are an essential part of any medical team. They not only take care of the patient but also help the doctors in treatment planning and diagnosis. Because of their extensive experience in the field, nurses prove as a crucial pillar of healthcare. Especially with new doctors, they can pinpoint the best treatment approach and guide them in their journey. And since a nurse spends time with the patient, he/she understands the behavior and symptoms better than anyone else. That is why it is their responsibility to share their knowledge during treatment planning.
- Training Students
When students are newly graduated or still pursuing medical education, they enter hospitals for their internships. And since it’s their first experience in a professional setting, they make a lot of mistakes. So it falls upon the working staff to guide these future doctors to learn and develop proper skills. Nurses are sometimes assigned to help these students. They teach them proper techniques and communication tactics to deal with the patients in appropriate manners. Occasionally, nurses even have to act as teachers to maintain professionalism in the facility.
- Patient And Family Counseling
Counseling is an integral part of nursing. Frequently, you might get a patient that is difficult to handle. Other times, the family might act aggressively. In such cases, nurses have to be very careful. Because they mostly interact with the patient regularly, they have to counsel them and comfort them during the treatment. Sometimes, they have to deliver bad news or answer the family’s questions about the procedures. They even have to settle the patient and encourage them for the therapy. All of this is very important in the healthcare system. And if a nurse fails to provide sound counseling, he/she can further complex a case instead of solving it.
- Providing Care Outside Hospitals
A nurse’s job doesn’t limit to the hospitals only. In many cases, nurses have to provide in-home care to the patients. And while the idea is similar to the hospital nurse, the experience is a lot different. You don’t always have everything available, and you have to make the best use of things you have on hand. When you are working in someone’s home, you have to be careful. The monitoring process is different, and you practically live with your patients. When a nurse is working in such settings, he/she has to cater to every need of the client. From feeding them to making sure they take their medicine, they have to ensure every necessity.
The Bottom Line
To work in the healthcare field, you need complete dedication and motivation. The duties discussed above are just the tip of the iceberg regarding a nurse’s responsibilities. And if you want to become a nurse, you must understand the complexities of this field. Furthermore, it is safe to say that nursing is one of the most demanding healthcare jobs.