Can you fathom working 12-hour shifts, being on your feet for most of those hours, and dealing with life-and-death situations? Well, this is a typical day for many healthcare providers. Nurses, in particular, have one of the most challenging jobs in the medical field. Not only are they responsible for the well-being of their patients, but they must also maintain a calm and collected demeanour to provide the best possible care. From answering the nurse call system, no rest, feeding, and cleaning to documenting every detail of a patient’s progress, nurses have a lot on their plate.
So with that in mind, let’s look at what a typical day is like for a nurse.
Responsibilities of a Nurse
No two days are similar in the life of a healthcare provider. They could work in a hospital, nursing home, or even in someone’s home. No matter where they are, they’re always on the go. Some day-to-day tasks of a nurse include:
Taking Patients’ Vital Signs
The vital signs of a patient – blood pressure, temperature, heart rate, and respiratory rate – are some essential indicators of their health. Nurses must take these regularly to ensure that their patients are stable. It helps them identify potential problems early on and take the necessary steps to address them.
Doctors prescribe medication for a reason, and it’s the nurse’s responsibility to ensure that patients receive them timely and in the correct dosage. Nurses also monitor patients for any adverse reactions to medications. It can be a matter of life and death, so they must pay close attention to detail.
Documenting Patient Progress
Nurses must document everything in the patient’s chart, from vital signs to medications. It is crucial for the continuity of care, as it gives other healthcare providers an idea of the patient’s condition. It also helps nurses keep track of the patient’s progress and identify potential problems.
Educating Patients and Their Families
An essential role of a nurse is to educate patients and their families about their condition. It includes teaching them how to manage their symptoms and what to expect during treatment. Nurses need to be able to explain things in a way that is easy to understand, as some patients and their families may be going through a lot of stress.
How Does the Job Affect Nurses?
Working long hours and dealing with sick patients can be emotionally and physically draining. Nurses must be able to cope with the stress of the job, as it can take a toll on their personal lives. If you are a nurse, you can try these few things to help manage stress:
- Get enough sleep
- Eat healthily
- Practice meditation or relaxation techniques
- Exercise regularly
- Talk to someone about your experiences
There you have it! It is just a glimpse into the life of a nurse. But at the end of the day, they do it because they love to care. So, the next time you see a nurse, give them a word of thanks – they deserve it!