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I have to ask....

Nurses   (1,090 Views 6 Comments)
by EstOyLista EstOyLista (Member)

774 Profile Views; 23 Posts

I pretty much know that nurses will draw blood, insert IV's, take vitals, administer meds....but beyond that side of it I'm not really sure what nurses do...particularly in an ER or OB dept. do they insert breathing tubes? I'm sure they do catheters....but what else is there.

Its kind of a dumb question but instead of assuming (like I've been doing) I wanted a statement with someone with experience.

I ask because I'm considering being a nurse (Nurse Practictioner) for the larger part of my life, or PA the pay isn't so much an issue as is the duties itself.

I would like to take patient histories, prescribe meds if need be, preform trachs, intubations, diagnose different types of diseases and illnesses. However, I don't really want to be a docter because I feel with docters the emphasis is on "treating the patient" I want to be more hands on.

I'm kind of confused.

Thanks.

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chuck1234 specializes in Nurses who are mentally sicked.

629 Posts; 6,802 Profile Views

You should joined the Alldoctors.com...

No, nurses do not intubated the patients....

Nurses also have to make sure the doctors are not overdosed your patients with any forms of medication...well...it happened...

Good luck!!!

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94 Posts; 2,195 Profile Views

In the ER nurses do lots of stuff. It's hard to give you a "typical" day because every day is so different. A nurse is responsible for triaging all pts that walk in the front door. Nurses perform the initial nursing assesment on all pts. Based on these assesments we are able to use standing orders and protocols to order different meds, treatment, or tests, such as chest pains can have nitro, EKG, asprin etc. We continue to monitor pts through out their ER stay, reassesing condition. We plan for what the likely next steps of care will be, and in many cases coordinate processes in care, for instance if MD wants pt to have x-ray, CT, neb, EKG, lab work nurses are often responsible for prioritizing what gets done first and making sure everything gets done. We follow up on lab results as they come back. Although we do many skilled tasks, like start IV's, place catheters, place NG tubes, clean and dress wounds, I consider this a small part of my time in dedicated to a pt. Usually there are other staff, like EMT's, NAs, and HUC's who do many tasks, as a nurse we are ultimetly responsible to ensure that these things were done and followed through with. Probably the biggest task nurses in the ER do is administer medications. In the event a pt is discharged we do the discharge teaching. We are a manager of care and delegator, we are a teacher, we are a coordinator, and above all, we are the pts advocate.

BTW: In the ER most nurses are trained how to intubate a pt in the event they needed to it is generally something performed by the physician (at least where I work I have never seen an RN do this).

If your considering being an ER nurse I might sugget doing a job shadow at your local ER. It might even be valuable to do two job shadows, one with a nurse, and one with a physician/PA/NP as the two fields function very differently in the ER.

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puggymae specializes in OB, NP, Nurse Educator.

317 Posts; 4,116 Profile Views

A NP and a doctor are NOT the same thing.

As an NP I have never performed a trach. As an RN I was allowed to perform intubation in the delivery room on newborns who required resuscitation - but not all facilities allow nurses to perform that procedure.

Perhaps you would like being a paramedic - they do alot of hands on procedures in the field.

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110 Posts; 3,725 Profile Views

I have heard that doctors treat the disease(ordering diagnostic tests, diagnosing, and developing treatment plans) and that the nurses treat the patient (more hands on, IVs, meds, assessments, discharge teaching, etc.).

Think of it this way, a hospitalized person sees and has more interactions with their nurse(s) than their doctor or surgeon. I agree that you should shadow a nurse, NP, or doctor and decide for yourself.

I have one year left of nursing school and will graduate in May 2008. A couple years ago, I had trouble deciding if I wanted to be a NP or a PA. I ultimately decided to become a NP (about 5-10 years after I graduate with BSN) after researching and talking to various health care professionals. Do some research, shadow health care professionals, and good luck.

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santhony44 is a MSN, RN, NP and specializes in FNP, Peds, Epilepsy, Mgt., Occ. Ed.

1,703 Posts; 7,077 Profile Views

The only nurses I know of who intubate patients on a regular basis are CRNA's. I don't think they do a lot of diagnosing nor prescribing, though. There is a CRNA area on this forum and they could give you a better idea of what they do.

Job shadowing different roles sounds like a great idea.

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