Special Request: What do nurses do? (for 2nd graders)

Nurses General Nursing


  • Specializes in CCU, Geriatrics, Critical Care, Tele.

I just received the following request from a second grade school teacher, I thought you all might want to answer her yourself. Who better to answer this question, than thousands of real nurses :) Please feel free to post your responses. Thanks


I'm a teacher of first and second graders and I have a student who wants to

be a nurse. I've looked for info for her on the web about what a nurse

does. I've found a lot of sites about: not enough nurses, strikes, pay

etc., but not about some of the things that get people into nursing and what

are some of the important jobs that they do. (things that first and second

graders can relate to. If you could be of help, I would appreciate any info

you have.

Thank you,

Home Health Columnist / Guide


11 Articles; 18,054 Posts

Specializes in Vents, Telemetry, Home Care, Home infusion.

Check out

"to Be A Nurse" website maintained by Jefferson Health system--it's geared to HS students


This section talks about"What you can do with a nursing degree"


What nurses do:

...As elementary students, we learn that the concept of health has an opposite called illness. We learn to remain healthy by listening to basic rules of safety, hygiene, and nutrition.

These fundamental principles do not change as we get older, they just get more complicated. Health and illness are no longer opposites, they are fluctuating concepts of well-being that healthcare calls homeostasis.

National Nurses Week recognizes the special people who care for others. Nurses care for a huge variety of patients, better referred to as clients.

Maternity/child nurses care for individuals who need special attention during normal life processes, such as pregnancy, labor, and birth. Each childbearing experience is different and the nurse is there to answer questions and concerns.

Individuals who have a disturbance in their health, either from an acute illness or a chronic disorder, also receive a nurse's care. Seriously ill patients are tendered by medical/surgical nurses. Special training is required for a nurse to care for the critically ill found in an intensive care unit. Many nurses take care of the elderly in a rehabilitation or long-term care facility.

A nurse may go to work by visiting individuals and their families in their homes. Many times, the patient has little in the way of a home. Some nurses visit their patients when the patient is working in a field of growing crops.

What else does a nurse do? Nurses save lives.

How do they save lives? They assess, listen, document, medicate, and see to the individual's personal needs. They act on their observations to prevent a further deterioration in health. For example, an elevated temperature could mean a post-operative infection. Blood in the bedpan could mean a bleeding disorder of the digestive tract. Without a nurse to make these observations, and initiate the appropriate interventions, the patient's condition would most likely get worse.

From: http://academic.cerrocoso.edu/health-careers/articles/2003apr.htm

Pictures and nurses own stories why they chose nursing:


Nurses teach handwashing-- Do Bugs need Drugs


I have pamphlets from Discover Nursing webste I can forward to teacher if interested.

Sarah Kat

229 Posts

I recommend Johnson & Johnson's Discover Nursing website. There is a lot of information about the different areas of nursing, info on available scholarships, and they even have a plethera of free materials available (even a "You Can Be a Nurse" coloring book).

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