What Do Nurses Do? 6 Common Nursing Tasks
As healthcare professionals, nurses are responsible for a wide range of tasks related to patient care. They work in various healthcare settings, including hospitals, clinics, nursing homes, and other healthcare facilities. In this article, we will discuss what nurses do and the importance of their work.
1. Assessing and Monitoring Patients
One of the primary responsibilities of nurses is to assess and monitor patients’ health status. They take patients’ vital signs, such as blood pressure, heart rate, respiratory rate, and temperature, and document the findings in the patient’s medical record. Nurses also evaluate patients’ symptoms, such as pain, nausea, or shortness of breath, and report any changes to the physician. Through regular assessments and monitoring, nurses can identify changes in a patient’s condition and ensure that they receive the appropriate care.
2. Administering Medications and Treatments
Nurses also administer medications and treatments prescribed by physicians. They ensure that patients receive the correct medication, dose, and route of administration. They also monitor patients for adverse reactions or side effects and report any issues to the physician. Nurses are also responsible for managing and maintaining medication administration records to ensure that patients receive their medication on time and in the correct dosage.
3. Providing Patient Education
In addition to administering medications, nurses also provide patient education. They explain to patients and their families about their medical condition, treatment options, and medications. They also teach patients how to manage their health condition and prevent complications. Through patient education, nurses empower patients to take an active role in their care, which can lead to better health outcomes.
4. Maintaining Patient Safety
Nurses are also responsible for maintaining patient safety. They follow strict infection control protocols to prevent the spread of infection. They also identify potential safety hazards, such as fall risks, and take measures to prevent accidents. Nurses also play a critical role in preventing medication errors, which can have severe consequences for patients.
5. Collaborating with Other Healthcare Professionals
Nurses collaborate with other healthcare professionals to provide coordinated care to patients. They work closely with physicians, pharmacists, social workers, and other members of the healthcare team to ensure that patients receive the best possible care. Collaboration and communication between healthcare professionals are essential to provide high-quality patient care.
6. Performing Administrative Duties
Apart from patient care, nurses also perform administrative duties. They maintain patient records, manage supplies and equipment, and participate in quality improvement initiatives. Nurses also supervise and train other healthcare personnel, such as nursing assistants and medical assistants. By performing administrative duties, nurses ensure that healthcare facilities run smoothly and efficiently.
Nurses work long hours and may be required to work weekends, holidays, and night shifts. They need to be physically and emotionally strong to handle the demands of their job. Nurses also need to have excellent communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Without nurses, the healthcare system would not be able to function, and patients would not receive the care they need.
If you’re interested in becoming a nurse, there are many nursing programs available, including bachelor’s degree programs, associate’s degree programs, and diploma programs. To learn more about nursing programs and the nursing profession, check out the following resources:
- American Nurses Association – The American Nurses Association is the largest professional association for nurses in the United States. The association provides resources and support for nurses, including continuing education, career development, and advocacy.
- National Council of State Boards of Nursing – The National Council of State Boards of Nursing is responsible for developing and administering the National Council Licensure Examination (NCLEX), which is required for nursing licensure in the United States. The council also provides resources and support for nursing students and nurses.
- Nurse.org – Nurse.org is a website that provides information and resources for nursing students and nurses. The website includes articles on nursing education