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Hospitals are constantly in flux as patients come in and out. As patients are admitted to the hospital, nursing staff must perform detailed assessments and gather a significant amount of information as part of the admission process. As you can imagine, this can be a time-consuming process.
Think of an 80-year-old patient who is on 17 prescription medications, has numerous comorbidities, and can’t recall their past medical history. It might take a while to gather the necessary information. Add this admission onto an already difficult patient load where the nurse is currently managing three or four sick patients and it’s easy to understand why the admissions nurse role was created.
An admissions nurse was created with the thought of reducing the burden on admitting units. They often operate hospital-wide and will go from unit to unit to complete patient admissions. The admissions nurse will come to the room of the newly admitted patient to perform a complete head-to-toe assessment, gather important contact information, review and document that patient’s medication list and pertinent medical history; next they will orient the patient to their room and unit and complete all other admission documentation. Then they will discuss any necessary information with the nurse who will be taking care of the patient.
The admissions nurse role is a unique opportunity for nurses to familiarize themselves with the hospital and to work with staff outside their normal unit. They often work part of their FTE as an admissions nurse and the rest of their FTE on their dedicated unit. This role can get mundane at times, but it does allow for nurses to gain valuable experience with numerous patient populations and helps them to build relationships with staff outside their home unit.
Admissions nurses serve as an important part of workflow management by taking on much of the burden of the admission process. They quickly become experts on the admission process and are valued by all the units they serve.