A Day in the Life of a Nurse

  1. I'm so tired of flip flopping on my decision whether to start nursing school or not, I've been told I'm to start in the fall, but still have hesitations...could you give me an idea what a "typical" (I know every day is different due to different patients) day in the life of a hospital nurse is? I don't care what specialty you are in, I just want to get a general idea what it's like....do you hit the floor running and never stop EVERY day? I'm excited one minute and scared to death the next, so thanks for any insight you can give me!!! :uhoh21:
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    About nursemichelle

    Joined: Dec '03; Posts: 67; Likes: 4
    Juvenile Justice Center Home Based Services


  3. by   manna
    Could you try to shadow a nurse for a day? That'd probably give you a more realistic picture of what the lifestyle/duties are like.

    There are some websites with that type of information on them out there, though - I seem to remember looking at some when I was searching for similar answers. Do a google search for something like "day in the life" + nurse

    Good luck making your decision!
  4. by   Nur_1996
    Currently I am not hospital nursing. However; when I was hospital nursing I was in Peds, also did some mother/baby and floated to NICU. These are all speciality units so gerernally speaking a nurse may have less patients then on a med/surg floor. On peds I had 5-6 patients.sometimes the cenus was high had a few more. Get reports, plan your night, Give meds, start IV's, draw labs, give more meds, charting, re-start iv's. Two year olds are good for pulling them out! Sometimes its not easy to restart them either. Its good when you have a good working team, I always worked nights and without the support of each other it would be hard to do your job. Hospital nursing is hard work, but also a great place to gain skills and get experience. Jump into with both feet foward, and be a "sponge" watch and learn and absorb all you can. Good Luck, Marie
  5. by   CIRQL8
    I work 1st shift w/ call and rotating weekends/off shifts. I work OR.

    Wake up to be changed and in my assigned room/case by 6:45-6:50 AM.

    Assist scrub in preparing room - get needed equipment and supplies not already pulled ny night/eve shift. Open case in a sterile manner.

    Leave OR and go to pre-anesthesia. Review chart. Interview Pt and provide info to both patient and family.

    Bring Pt to OR. Assist anesthesia w/ induction/intubation as necessary and provide comfort to the Pt. Count instruments. Prep patient. Do paperwork. Monitor room, provide for staff needs.

    End of case: Closing counts, place dressing.tape on wound. Transfer Pt to PACU.

    Complete paperwork, turn in charges.

    Repeat as many times a necessary.

    I am on call (30 minute response) about two to three weekdays per month and also one full weekend every six weeks or so. Every four to six weeks or so I am assigned an eve or night shift on a single weekend day.

    Pay is good when I take into account call pay, my charge nurse pay, overtime and what we call "carrer ladder" (an annual review of credentials, and other things tied into the job and community service that is not a requirement of the job), educatin, years of service, etc etc etc. There are 4 levels of bonus: Zero, $2500, $5000, and $7500, paid in a lump sum in one paycheck around the time of your annual review. If you are written up or get a poor review you are not eligible for bonus.

    I must stress that this is in a nutshell - varies alot from place to place. Varies form time to time. Etc.

    Also - I love working in the OR. It is my briar-patch.

    Hope I was somewhat helpful.

  6. by   CIRQL8
    I must add a PS to my posting.

    I neglceted to mention that there is alot to do during a case to keep it running smoothly, and patient positioning, safety, care, etc it very important in the OR and elsewhere. DO NOT let anyone tell you that OR nurses do not utilize nursing skills. WE DO!! Just different kinds. You may not get to start an IV every day, or drop a tube very often, but we are first and foremost in the prevention department. We see a sick patient come in (or healthy w/ a fixable problem) and see them leave and know we helped make a difference. Sometimes we see someone come in that should not be going through surgery (3 special words - QUALITY OF LIFE), but they do. Hopefully it is what they want. We still help. We still provide care. We take care of a patient at their most vulnerable. We are the patient advocate. This person is sedated or under general anesthesia and cannot speak for themselves. Family is not poresent to speak up.

    There is more to it, hard to articulate in writing.

    Also there is alot to do in downtime. Clean. Put away stuff. Pull cases (we do not have a case-pulling department, some places have people that pull cases for you), etc etc etc.

    But you know what?? I still LOVE it!!

    Hope you make the choice that's best for you. Good luck

  7. by   nursemichelle
    Dave, thanks for all that info - that sounds wonderful!! I've been really thinking about OR, and that really gave me some interesting insight into what goes on! I've thought about OB too, but I'm sure I will change my mind in clinicals as everyone seems to do. I don't know why I keep getting cold feet! I shouldn't have read that thread about the most gross/nasty/horrifying experiences thread!!!!!
  8. by   CIRQL8

    Pretty soon the "horror stories" become "badges of honor" maybe even funny in hindsight, even if exremely stressful at the time. Your horror will not be others' horror and vice-versa.

    All jobs have stress - you will not get away from it...