Five Basic Duties You’ll be Most Likely to Perform as a Nurse

Five Basic Duties You’ll be Most Likely to Perform as a Nurse

Nurses are the ties that bind together the healthcare journey of a patient. They work relentlessly to care and advocate for individuals suffering from illnesses and getting through the whole health and wellness journey.

As highly skilled professionals, the majority of nurses possess a diverse skill set and a diverse range of tasks that change according to the patient. Thus, if you are beginning your nursing career or considering becoming one, knowing the typical nursing duties that nurses do on a daily basis may benefit you.

The Basics of Nursing Care

While a nurse’s daily duties may vary depending on the location, education, and degree of certification, there are certain commonalities among these distinct nursing positions. Understanding what a nurse’s typical daily duty entails will help you truly realize how crucial their role in patient care is. As a nurse, your responsibility will vary depending on your certification and education, along with your place of employment or area of expertise, but there are certain duties that almost every nurse performs during a typical shift.

Moreover, there is no better way to see if your abilities and career aspirations are compatible with everyday activities than by reading more about these five day-to-day typical nursing responsibilities.

1. Administering medication

Whenever a doctor prescribes a medication for a patient to intake, whether in a clinical or hospital setting, it’s rarely the doctor who goes and engages directly with the patient to administer such medication. In most cases they send the prescription to a nurse, often an RN, to visit the patient and provide the given prescription drug. (An LVN can also administer medications, as can an LPN if supervised by an RN. If you’re a CNA—a Certified Nursing Assistant—you won’t actually administer meds, but you might well be the one who persuades a patient to take them).

Nurses may have to consult pharmacists before administering medications. Additionally, they may be expected to contact pharmacies on account of physicians to acquire prescriptions for patients to be taken at home. (Patients often use a discount card when obtaining the given medication in order to lessen the expense).

2. Recording and monitoring patient vital signs

Have you ever been hospitalized? Either way, you might have seen or witnessed a nurse performing their rounds, taking and monitoring either your vital signs or not. This is one of the nurse’s typical nursing duties. They are expected to take vital signs on a scheduled basis, documenting them every few hours to maintain a patient’s health.

Maintaining good health requires regular monitoring of one’s vital signs. Thus, nurses have developed considerable expertise in rapidly analyzing a patient’s status, even when the patient is unaware. This is to warn the doctor of any indicators of severe sickness. Any patient interaction is an opportunity for a nurse to assess for indicators of illness or other concerns, which must frequently be documented following observation.

3. Maintaining a detailed medical record

Each time a nurse goes and checks on a patient provides medication, assists with basic hygiene tasks, or performs a wellness check. Every engagement must be documented. With this, it is evident how vital medical records are to patient care.

Maintaining a complete and thorough medical record is one of the typical nursing duties. It enables nurses and doctors to provide high-quality care while assuring that care records flow without incident from one work shift to another.

4. Drawing blood samples

One of the skills necessary for a certified nurse is the ability to draw blood samples. Blood samples are taken for various purposes, including testing, operations, and diagnosis. Therefore, Phlebotomy is an essential skill for any nurse to have in order to provide exemplary patient care. While drawing blood is not usually offered in some nursing school programs, several advocate that nursing students should take additional courses to perfect such ability.

Phlebotomy teams often conduct rounds at fixed times in hospital settings; consequently, the nursing staff may be responsible for drawing the blood if a lab test is requested promptly as this is an extended nursing function. Indeed, the majority of Intensive Care Units prefer to hire nurses capable of drawing blood samples.

5. Providing emotional support for patients

Finally, nurses play a critical role in providing emotional support to patients. The healthcare system is frequently frightening for patients, even more so when dealing with significant diseases or accidents. In addition, doctors are restrained by time constraints and may be unable to sit and engage directly with the patients as they process the intensity of their diagnosis.

Nurses have been on the front line of healthcare, and each day brings new challenges with a variety of patients appearing with a variety of different diseases. Moreover, nurses must think quickly and maintain their composure under duress to extend their emotional support to patients and clinical support.

Becoming a nurse

Even the most mundane nursing tasks have meaning for a patient (even paperwork and priming IV tubing!) and all come together to build the unique bond that makes a nurse such a trusted figure. There are a variety of nursing employment and degree certifications available. You can make a difference as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), a Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN), a Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN), or a Registered Nurse (RN)—or you can work on a larger scale as an Advanced Practice Registered Nurse (APRN) by becoming a Nurse Practitioner (NP) or Doctoral NP (DNP).


Finding Joy in Everyday Nursing Tasks

Finding Joy in Everyday Nursing Tasks

There are certain aspects of every job that are, well, mundane. You know them, the repetitive and seemingly boring tasks that we are required to do but might not necessarily enjoy. It’s easy to get bogged down by these tasks or to even dread them, but it doesn’t have to be that way! It is possible to find joy in your everyday nursing tasks, from scrubbing the hub to priming IV tubing. Here are five suggestions.

1. Focus on the task’s purpose.

You may find yourself going through the motions at work while doing certain tasks that require less brain power. It’s easy to get frustrated by these tasks or have the desire to skip them on a day you aren’t feeling motivated. The next time you find yourself feeling this way, try reminding yourself of the purpose of the task. Why is it important that you do this? Who would be affected if you were to skip the task? Finding an underlying purpose will help you feel motivated and give you a sense of pride when you are finished.

2. Find a buddy.

Everything is better with a friend around! Working through the same routine tasks with a coworker can make things much more tolerable. For instance, if you dislike your morning charting, find a friend and do it together. Time will fly by when you have someone who can distract you and help you have a good time.

3. Change your mindset.

Apply the saying, “change your mindset, change your life” to your mundane work responsibilities and you’ll find that your entire day can be transformed. For instance, if you know that you dread the set up required for a certain procedure, make a mental choice to be excited and positive about it. Forcing yourself to think this way will improve your attitude about the task. It will be hard at first, but gradually you will find yourself feeling more positive and happy while at work.

4. Make a game out of it.

If there are several tasks at work that you dread doing, like patient admission paperwork, try making a game out of it. See how quickly and efficiently you are able to finish it. Each time you do a new admission, try to beat your last one. This will not only help you save time, but also help you feel a sense of accomplishment. Try creating a physical checklist of items that you need to chart; you will feel rewarded as you are able to check off each item on your list.

5. Savor a job well done.

Remember to enjoy the completion of every task that you perform. It doesn’t matter how small, large, easy, or hard the task was. No matter what, you finished the task and you did it well. Take pride in your work. Feel a sense of accomplishment and don’t be afraid to compliment yourself on a job well done. Thinking to yourself, “Wow, that was the fastest IV start of my career!” or “Man, I just did the best dressing change!” will help you appreciate the importance of these everyday nursing tasks.