What Nurses Do

  1. OK we have all talked about educating the public about what it is that bedside nurses do and I can't think of any better group of people than us to do just that. So let's put our thoughts together and spotlight the important and lifesaving things we do as nurses.

    Bedside nurses are responsible for noticing subtle changes in a patient's condition.
    We have to know all diseases, their treatments, medications and complications and how to treat those complications.
    Nurses have to initiate life support including CPR, Defibrillation (shocking your heart), breathing for you via a ventilator, and administering potent medications to keep your blood pressure up and your heart rate within a normal range.
    Nurses are the ones who are there with you 24 hours a day 7 days a week and notify your doctor of any changes in your conditions and work with that doctor to plan appropriate treatment for you.
    We protect you by asking well meaning visitors to leave so that you can get the rest you desparately need.
    Patients go to hsopitals for NURSING CARE. We look at the whole picture. We are the ones who put all the specialties together and make sure that all of your needs are being met.

    So please, add your thoughts. Maybe one of the writers on this board can put our collective thoughts together and we can all submit our names or, if it's ok with Brian, use Allnurses, and start sending this information to newspapers, magazines, politicians, tv stations, basically anyone who will listen.
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  2. 8 Comments

  3. by   bestblondRN
    We also provide the emotional support to families of patients in crisis, as well as to the patients themselves. We spend a lot of time educating patients and families about disease process and the treatments/day-to-day management of the patient. We assist patients and families in making decisions about their care, and supporting them in those decisions regardless of our own personal feelings. We spend the time that the physician is unable to, answering the questions and explaining the procedures, etc.

    We are really the partner to the physician in providing comprehensive care for patients and families.
  4. by   Sleepyeyes
    OOooo, good idea!

    How about education/teaching? We teach too....we teach about health prevention, pre-and post-op teaching, dressing care, and other procedures (such as diabetic teaching and reinforcement)

    We do IV therapy, phlebotomy, chemo

    We coordinate patient care and when indicated, refer other depts, such as wound care, social services, and pastoral care

    We provide comfort and spiritual care because while docs are trained for medical stuff, only the nurse can intervene and influence the spiritual/emotional effects of illness on the pt and their families (how many of you have lugged a recliner into a room for a family member, or gotten them a hot meal?)
  5. by   adrienurse
    We do for those what they cannot do for themselves. We are equipped with skills and talent and are the primary agent in restoring the heath of the sick.

    It is subtle, almost intangeable. But sorely missed when nurses are not there.
  6. by   ceecel.dee
    What about discharge planning like determining home care needs, safety to even be at home, counseling family on s/s to be aware of, teaching on appropriate diet or dressing change technique. Telephone triage, grief counseling, transfer initiater, chart/report/family member finder. Sounding board for doc's wife when you have to disturb their sleep/movie/meal.

    Let me think......there are a thousand more.....
  7. by   thisnurse
    we plan, execute, and evaluate nursing care for the pt
    we act as an intermediary between the pt and dr and all other depts
    we look at the pts history to see what impact it has on their current condition
    we assure comfort and safety
    we record all treatments and changes in pt condition
  8. by   micro
    can't even begin to touch this one tonight.......
    some well thought out writer...............
    this nurse....the calling.......this nurse.....the calling.....

    nurses do everything.....
    from brushing someone's hair to their mouth care.....
    they save lives though ACLS guidlelines and then cry with the patient's family and the patient
    they clean up **** and take **** from every direction
    they suction, suction, suction.....
    they listen, they listen
    they attempt to educate.....
    they respect
    they attempt to stand for their fellow coworkers and themselves.....
    they CARE!!!!!!!!!
    and they don't stop.........

    They are so technically based, they could but be a robot, but
    a nurse couldn't be a robot, because they care so much and a cold robot kiss on the cheek(appropriately) is not the same as the kiss i gave on the cheek tonight to one of my patients that is just hanging by the thread of the power of her existence.........

    it takes a nurse to dance into a room and act like a fool and make a patient laugh because there is nothing else a nurse can do, barring a miracle.......for a terminal, endstage patient..........besides the technicalities of the job...........
    and at this point, folks.....you all know that if there is nothing else it is nothing but a job......

    so I am the quirkest, jerkiest and wierdest micro i can be when I have such a patient.....they become so special to me...............

    just because I act a flake to them, doesn't mean I am not checking the vent, their VS, their lf, their overall physical assessments and all the rest that comes with such a condition.......
    but if this other side I cannot offer......

    I will flip burgers and would you like fries with that..........

    micro and out
  9. by   canoehead
    The rest of the hospital works with us, but the buck stops with nurses as we are the most direct caregivers, and we are always at the bedside. We coordinate and moniter the actions of other professionals, even docs(!) plus are accountable to the family for the actions of the whole hospital, because we are the ones available all the time.
  10. by   SmilingBluEyes
    No new wisdom here...I say micro's post says what i wish i could in a more brilliant state of mind. there are not words sufficient i Webster's (or any dictionary) that can adequately describe what we "do".....what about touching spirits and souls? who does that better than nurses, except perhaps clergy? oh well. i digress. i still second micro's post. she makes sense to me.

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