Nurses often manage patient care and they frequenty are performing that patient care. So nurses assess their patients (how are they doing? normal? worse? use eyes, ears, touch, stethoscope, etc to aid in assessment), check MD orders (does it all look in order? anything special for this patient?), make sure care is given (medications administered, dressings changed, IV fluids run, NA may help with hygiene, toileting, and VS collection), continue to monitor patient - make sure patient is breathing well, peeing & pooing (how much? color? etc?), passing gas, walking or whatever else might indicate or create a problem (eg, patient needs to walk after surgery to help prevent certain complications). Nurses will determine when a situation is such that an MD needs to be called in and be able to identify and be ready to assist with emergent situations. Nurses often teach patients about their care and reinforce MD explanations. Nurses often "make do" and "make things happen." For example, a patient is going home who can't afford lots of supplies for their wound care, so the nurse helps them come up with a way to manage with what they have. If social services is needed to assist the patient find local resources to aid the patient, the nurse needs to make sure that social services is called and that the patient is seen - because one can't just assume that what is requested will automatically happen - since everyone is busy juggling lots of different responsibilities. Because of this stress (and probably other reasons as well) some health personnel can be quite snappy and abrupt, which means the nurse also must develop a thick skin and be assertive about what he/she thinks the patient needs. Well, that's some of what nurses do!