What will your Duties as an RN be? Brace yourself for these 4 Key Roles
June 24th, 2013, Kelly Gibson
Only a registered nurse knows how challenging and demanding their job is. True that the occupation is backed by a great salary and excellent job prospects, but a lot of effort is put behind every RN as they go about their daily businesses.
For aspiring and existing RN students, we thought a sneak peek into an RN’s job duties would be a great idea, so here we are, sharing some main tasks that you can expect to be doing as a registered nurse.
- Patient Care
- Emotional Support and Education
- Communication and Coordination
- Diagnosis and Treatment
Looking after and caring for patients are the most obvious duties of a registered nurse. From giving patient’s medicines and maintaining record of their histories and treatment, to observing patients, recording observations and other patient procedures are all taken care of by a registered nurse. This means that you’ll be finding yourself setting IVs, giving shots, updating patient records, keeping a check on their vital signs, etc. They also help perform diagnostic tests with patients and the lab staff.
Nurses today are not just passive caregivers. They also provide emotional support to their patients and their families. For example, guiding a patient through a difficult illness or disease is made much easier with the encouragement of a dedicated and sincere RN. Similarly, nurses also educate patients about various things related to their illness. It could be something as simple as how and when to take your medicines, to more long-term practices, such as the kind of lifestyle required with a certain ailment.
No job in today’s world is an isolated one, and nursing especially involves a lot of coordination with different people. Nurses have to consult with doctors and other healthcare professionals about a patients’ condition and keep communicating with them about the progress of their recovery or any changes they notice in their patient. They must also coordinate with other healthcare staff, such as laboratory staff for tests, other nurses to manage rotational job duties, etc. In addition, they also act as liaisons between the physician and the patient, communicating their issues, problems and concerns to each other.
In some nursing roles, such as the Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM), the nurse is even responsible for carrying out diagnosis and treatment. However, these roles are quite few and in most roles the RN has to work in collaboration and under the supervision of a doctor.
Typical Work Setting and Environment
As a registered nurse, you should be prepared to be at your feet most of the times. Walking, lifting patient, bending or stretching to help with a patient all mean there’ll always be a bit of aerobic activity that’s second nature to the job! You could be working 12 hours at a stretch, you will be on call at nights, weekends or even the holidays, and you may even have to work an extra shift to substitute for a colleague who may not show up for whatever reason. Oh, and did we mention that you should take extra care to protect yourself from infections, chemicals, radiations, etc. that you will be exposed to as a part of patient care.
Despite it all, nursing career is a truly rewarding profession and you can be sure to sleep soundly at night knowing that you made a difference in someone’s life. So be ready to put on those scrubs and just get, set go!
Posted In: Career Advice, Career Counseling