new nursing student needs help

  1. Hello everyone, I just started nursing school this semester and I just started my clinical rotations( Fundamentals). I feel comfortable performing the tasks that I have learned, such as obtainig V/S, IO, and helping patients with ADL's. The problem is I still dont get the big picture of what a nurse does, lets say on a medical surgical floor.

    Can someone please give me a detailed description of what they do everyday as a nurse?????
    for ex. First get assignment from head nurse, then get report from presvious shift ect ect ect.

    Thanks!!!!
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  2. 3 Comments

  3. by   TazziRN
    Geez....typed out a reply and it disappeared!

    Assess your assigned pts. Note any new treatments/meds/orders and see that they're carried out. Reassess afterwards to determine effectiveness. Review lab results and compare to the previous results. Use a team approach with the MDs to determine if a change in treatment plan is necessary and come up with a new plan. Keep the MD apprised of negative changes as they occur.

    And that's only a small part of it.
  4. by   Antikigirl
    I go in early to get the feel for the floor and get a cup of coffee. Then I wait in the report room getting my papers in order for the day. Then all the RN's for the shift come in and get their assignments...have time to write it on their paperwork (organizer) as far as Pt, MD, Dx, age, and anything different like equipment being used or things noted by the manager during their report (which is before ours).

    Then we listen to taped report and fill in more blanks on our organizers so we can get a feel for what has been going on, what needs to be done, how the pt is, anything odd or different, and plan our shift. Then I go out and get their MAR and write down the meds I must pass, and their kardex to see their plan.

    Then I go do my initial assessments with pts...chart those...and get on to nursing duties. Med passes, treatments, more assessments PRN, help with adls and other patient care, order labs/diet/ and other items, check orders and communicate with disiplines (like lab values with MD's or change of diet with the kitchen or even activity levels with PT...you name it!). There are times I need to do some desk work and phone calls too. Help other RN's or CNA's with patient care. And of course lots of documentation!

    At the end of my day I have to finalize what I am doing with my pts, do my I/O tallys and clear the IV's or PCA's (so next shift starts with 0...easier to count that way), tape my report, tell my manager anything needed on the assignment sheet (so they can assign properly and fairly), and stay fininishing up my paperwork and double checking I signed my MAR's (and address any probelms with that) and be available for questions from the next shift nurse.

    Sounds simple..but much of this all runs together at the same time...so good prioritizing skills are vital...as well as good time management!

    Give yourself some time to get to know your procedures/treatments and such and practice some time management skills in the process. Learning to do all of it at once is a learned art...so you have to have experience juggling..and that is best done by proactive learning in RN school! You may not see the connections just yet...but trust me...YOU WILL!

    Good luck and don't forget to have some fun while you learn to (safe fun...you learn more that way and remember things better if you are happy).
  5. by   sunnysky
    Thanks very much for you reply TazziRN and TriageRN 34, this really helped.

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