If you’ve been to a hospital, you know well, the amount of work and responsibility that rests on a nurse’s shoulder. Without a fluid system of working nurses, no hospital will be able to function.
With that being said, there are certain clearly defined responsibilities for a nurse, and it makes sense to understand these to comprehend the job.
1. Recording Medical History
Recording a patient’s medical history is probably one of the most common, yet important responsibilities of a nurse.
The nurse records the patient’s medical history accurately so that the doctor who is supervising can act accordingly without wasting too much time.
2. Monitor Patient’s Status
As a nurse, you will take complete responsibility to keep a check on how the patient is faring throughout his/her admission to the hospital. You will work as a coordinated team to monitor the patient and keep track of their response to the treatment.
This forms a fundamental part of the treatment process.
3. Provide Emotional Support
Being admitted to the hospital is a mentally draining process for the patient as well as their loved ones. A nurse is thus crucial in providing the needed emotional support for all the parties included.
This is one of the reasons why some of the key skills that are required in a nurse are listening and understanding.
4. Educate and Inform
It goes hand in hand with the previous point. As nurses, it is their responsibility to educate patients on the illness. Not knowing what you’re going through can be very scary.
By educating the patient and their loved ones, irrational fears, and fears of the unknown can be reduced to a great extent.
5. Advocate for Patient Welfare
An often underrated duty and responsibility of a nurse is their duty to advocate for their patient’s general wellbeing.
When everyone turns their back on the patient, nurses should still be able to stand by whats best for the patient and not the hospital.
As nurses, there should always be loyalty towards the patient that is higher than to the hospital.
What are the different roles nurses play?
It makes a lot of sense why nurses are called the superheroes in scrubs. For those who think that nurses have only one role to play, the truth is far from this. Nurses play a huge role within the hospital walls and outside within the community.
These are some of them:
- Nurses are Teachers
- Nurses are Advocates
- Nurses are Family
- Nurses are Mediators
- Nurses are Therapists/Counsellors
Nurses are Teachers
Considering that nursing students go through a lot of the same material as doctors, they end up having a lot of medical knowledge too. Thus, nurses play a huge role as educators in the community.
It becomes their responsibility to educate, inform, and bring about awareness regarding health and wellbeing.
In the case of a pandemic, for instance, it is their responsibility to spread awareness and bring calmness amid possible chaos.
Nurses are Advocates
It cannot be stressed enough. If it isn’t already clear, nurses are some of the greatest advocates for the health and wellbeing of the patients specifically, and the community as a whole.
Nurses are Family
Once within the walls of the hospital, nurses also play the role of being the family of the patient.
It is a two-edged sword since what brings you the most job satisfaction can turn into something that causes you the most pain.
With that said, it is still the responsibility of the nurse to show compassion and mercy to the patient while they are within the confinements of the hospital bed.
Nurses are Mediators
Compassion and care should not be foreign words for a nurse. They show this during situations that trigger quite the opposite emotions.
The human body is very complex, and there is only so much that can be done to save a patient and restore them fully. If situations arise that call for action, nurses need to be able to act as mediators and bring about peace.
It requires an adequate presence of mind coupled with compassion and empathy.
Nurses are Therapists/Counsellors
As surprising as this might seem on the face of it, it is true. Nurses can make or break a patient’s mental state of being. It also goes for the community as a whole. In effect, nurses are counsellors.
Right from the get-go, nurses should communicate and reassure the patient so that their mind remains strong.
It, in turn, helps the entire healing process, regardless of the illness.
The role of a nurse is multi-faceted. From the moment the patient walks in, to the moment they leave the hospital, and even prior or post-hospital, nurses play different roles within the community.
The job comes with a lot of responsibility, but it is safe to say that it is directly proportionate to the job satisfaction.
If the roles and the duties specified above, fit well for you as a student, then nursing might just be what you were cut out for.