What do nurses do?

  1. I want start a thread about what nurses do. Since many non-nursing personnel participate on the board and have a simplistic view of what nurses
    ( RN or LPN) actually do. I'm not trying to be mean spirited, I want to see how long the list can get. Name something as a nurse you do, physical tasks, mental, anything.

    As a nurse I:

    1. educate patients about their diagnosis and treatment plan; also about medications, purpose, expected result and potential side effects.
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  2. 6 Comments

  3. by   EricJRN
    I moved your post to the Nursing Career Advice Forum, where many non-nurses are likely to hang out and benefit from this thread.
  4. by   EricJRN
    I'll add one:

    As a NICU nurse, I respond to high-risk/complicated deliveries as part of a neonatal resuscitation team.
  5. by   TheCommuter
    At my workplace I pass medications, dress wounds, administer respiratory updrafts, give PEG tube feedings, perform simple treatments, obtain vital signs, catheterize people, give enemas and suppositories, manually disimpact obstipated patients, report lab values, obtain new orders, complete incident reports, do neurological assessments, fill out resident data sheets, do skin assessments, complete monthly summaries, chart on antibiotics, report changes in condition to the doctor, and supervise the CNAs. LVNs who are IV-certified are permitted to engage in IV therapy. There's more, but I can't think of anything else yet.
  6. by   ckben
    as a nurse, i spend a good 2-3 hours a day minimum charting. this isn't because i like charting or because i have nothing better to do. believe me, i would rather be in patient rooms all day. i may be sitting at the nurses station, but believe me charting is work. it allows me to provide a record of what i've done during the day (because how else would anybody know how we've taken care of our patients?), not only so that doctors, other nurses, physical therapy, etc. will know what we've done for our patients, but also how they are progressing and what their current condition is. in addition, if i want to protect myself in a court of law or in front of the board of nursing because of an adverse event, then i need to be able to prove that i did everything i could for my patient. also, should a sentinal event occur, proper documentation is VITAL so that we can learn how to better protect our patients in the future.

    if you see me sitting at the nurses station, don't automatically assume i'm taking a break or just chatting with my coworkers. pay attention and see if i'm actually working or sitting like a bump on a log. and please don't assume charting is voluntary or unimportant. it's one of the most important things we do.
  7. by   Altra
    Quote from medsurgnurse
    I want start a thread about what nurses do. Since many non-nursing personnel participate on the board and have a simplistic view of what nurses
    ( RN or LPN) actually do. I'm not trying to be mean spirited, I want to see how long the list can get. Name something as a nurse you do, physical tasks, mental, anything.

    As a nurse I:

    1. educate patients about their diagnosis and treatment plan; also about medications, purpose, expected result and potential side effects.
    Good idea for a thread! It would probably also be helpful to really break this down into very concrete descriptions for those new to health care, i.e. ... explain what constitutes "IV therapy," "patient education," "assessment," "charting," etc.

    As an ER nurse ... here's a (very) short list:

    I assess patients who come in to the ER either on their own or via EMS. This includes asking questions about their symptoms; observing tangible symptoms; listening to heart & lungs, checking BP, heart rate, respiratory rate & temp; asking about past medical history of illnesses & surgical procedures; and asking about medications & treatments.

    I start IVs, draw blood, and obtain urine, sputum, fecal & other samples for lab testing.

    I give IV, oral, topical & inhalation meds.

    I educate patients on medical conditions, treatments & meds verbally and direct them to other sources of info - referrals, printed materials, online info, etc.

    I do EKGs & attach pts. to various types of monitors.

    I participate in codes (resuscitations) including giving meds, performing chest compressions & ventilating pts. using an ambu bag.

    I continually reassess my pts. vital signs, cardiac rhythms, respiratory status, pain level and whatever else is relevant to their conditions.

    I transport my pts. to intensive care units and sometimes to x-ray/CT/MRI.

    I precept nursing & paramedic students.

    I document everything done with/for patients in a combination of computer & paper charting systems.

    And a thousand other things. :spin:
  8. by   pedseducator
    I teach patients, families, nurses, nursing students, CNAs, young doctors, residents, anyone who asks me a question and hospital personnel from all departments.

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