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WHAT DO NURSES DO? --help me respond to this question

Nurses   (12,337 Views | 79 Replies)
by RiaRN RiaRN Member

1,302 Profile Views; 23 Posts

Ok,I work in a city hospital as an RN in new york. It is so busy sometimes you don't have time to breathe. I was asked by my nurse manager to write something on what nurses do so that she could give it to the doctors. The doctors told her that they have no idea what a nurse does all day. PFFFT! Anyway I am overwhelmed and have started a list of what nurses do so that I can write something using it. I want to hear from other nurses who could possibly think of things that are slipping my mind at the moment. Its a big job to try and explain all the things we do on any given day, because every day is so different. I feel that the doctors need some good education ( maybe they'd show us an ounce of respect then? or is that wishful thinking?) Any help would be greatly appreciated. I want to write a really good response. Thanks in advance!

Heres a few things I jotted down real quickly:

Monitor vitals

assess for pain

teach

listen

Advocate for patients

determine if orders are complete/appropriate

communicate with all levels of hospital employees

(doctors, nurses, dieticians, social workers, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, , even nonlicenced personnel such as housekeeping, families, kitchen and phone/TV)

Assess for changes in patients condition

Assess for actual or potential problems with the patients health status or safety

Perform care for total care patients

Tasks like suctioning, trach care, feedings, blood transfusions, ekgs, drawing blood, start iv's, start Foleys, acquire samples for the lab, check orders and make changes accordingly, interpret cardiac strips, calculate I and o's

Solve problems, use their resources

Assist patients with their needs

Do discharges and admissions

Monitor for post surgical complications

protect patients

save money

prevent suffering

There are probably tons more so please respond!

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FireStarterRN has 15 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in LTC, Med/Surg, Peds, ICU, Tele.

3,823 Posts; 24,201 Profile Views

Oh, I direct CNAs from the comfort of the nurses station while I surf the web and wait to make last minute bids on Ebay auctions that are ending. ;)

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cheshirecat specializes in midwifery, gen surgical, community.

246 Posts; 4,007 Profile Views

A few more things for your list:

Liase with patients relatives

Clean up after lazy doctors (not all doctors leave messes I know)

Plan nursing care using evidence based practice.

Sure others can think of loads more things.:monkeydance:

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CheesyPeach specializes in SICU, PACU, Public health.

34 Posts; 1,699 Profile Views

I think a better question is "What Don't they do?"

Answer: (silence)

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979 Posts; 8,307 Profile Views

The doctors need to know what nurses do?

That's one line. Nurses keep doctors out of court.

Who cares about the rest from the doctor's standpoint?

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41 Posts; 1,558 Profile Views

I think a better question is "What Don't they do?"

Answer: (silence)

:nurse:

yup. They are social work, they are teachers, they are doctors, they are nursing assistants, they are clergy, they are housekeeping, they are carpenters, they are engineers, they are heating and airconditioning....

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1,758 Posts; 11,341 Profile Views

Why don't you tell your manager that nurses are busy writing stupid lists up for their managers who don't know what nurses do because they are too busy kissing up to the doctor's ridiculous demands.

Why not suggest that these inquisitive doctors spend a day shadowing a busy ER nurse or better yet, Med-surg nurse. There you go.

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allantiques4me specializes in Brain injury,vent,peds ,geriatrics,home.

481 Posts; 5,962 Profile Views

Not to mention the three hour long med passes sometimes!

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prmenrs has 42 years experience as a RN and specializes in NICU, Infection Control.

2 Followers; 4,565 Posts; 32,721 Profile Views

Administering medications; includes understanding of indications, side effects, correct dosing and interactions w/other medications that pt is rec'g, as well as in light of recent lab results.

Depending on the setting (ICU, med-surg, LTC... ), medication admin for 1 pt to ??? pts.

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11,191 Posts; 54,269 Profile Views

if i were the nm, i would have told that doctor to take a flying leap.

end of discussion.

leslie

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deeDawntee has 12 years experience as a RN and specializes in Travel Nursing, ICU, tele, etc.

1,579 Posts; 9,040 Profile Views

We are embroiled in the human condition:

We clean up every bodily fluid and substance and do it without any reaction whatsoever, after awhile!!!

We clean every body part, including periareas and feet that haven't had a good cleaning for a very long time....

We listen to the patient and family complain about the Doctors, but since we are part of the healthcare team, we do our very best to resolve issues and promote communication between Doctors and patients.

We save Doctors butts...we catch wrong medication dosages, we clarify orders, often to verbal lashing by the Physician, but we do whatever we need to do to protect our patients.

We know enough about all the different disciplines in the hospital to ask for consults if we assess that the patient needs it: speech, OT, PT, RT, dietician, pastoral.

We can do very, very little without a Doctor's orders. We have very little authority, and a great deal of responsibility.

We have to be the masters of human communication and relationships. We have to be able to withstand being sworn at, hit, spit at, bitten and despised by patients without any kind of retaliation. We are juggling the needs of our patients and our families. We often have incompetent management and rude Doctors to deal with.

We need to recognize when a patient is going bad and how to act in order to save a patient's life.

We need to know the reason we give all the medications we give and the potential side effects.

We need to be able to interpret lab data and follow protocols or call Doctors for interventions.

We are the ones ultimately responsible that everything that the Doctor orders is accomplished. Did the labs get drawn when they were supposed to? When can that patient go to medical imaging and arrange for transport. Did the consults happen?

We are the ones that do all the admission paper work and then we are the ones that prepare everything for discharge so that the patient knows exactly what medications they are supposed to take, when and why they are taking them. When they are supposed to follow up with the Doctor.

OH MY GOD.... that is enough....I'm writing this thinking what idiotic Doctor doesn't know what the nurses do? That is ridiculous. The Doctor wouldn't exist without the nurses, the hospitals wouldn't exist without the nurses. Hospital stays are all about nursing care and nurses making sure everything happens for that patient.

Very interesting exercise however...but I think I would be very concerned if a Doc I worked around honestly wondered what I did all day (or night). Give me a break!!!

:bluecry1::bluecry1::bluecry1:

:uhoh21::uhoh21::uhoh21:

:eek::eek::eek:

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4 Followers; 11,299 Posts; 77,175 Profile Views

if i were the nm, i would have told that doctor to take a flying leap.

end of discussion.

leslie

Me too. That is a degrading thing to ask in the first place.

steph

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