As I have mentioned before, I have been a nurse for 20 plus years. I have worked in different specialty areas and in different set-ups. In my experience, busy is an understatement for nurses. There is no typical day as it can range from a calm few hours to a very hectic mid day and a lot of times before the end of the shift, event happens, which could be from a new admission or an emergency situation has occurred. Thus staying organized as a nurse is very important as this set back will not deter you from moving forward.
What Are The Daily Regular Tasks OR Responsibilities Of Nurses
Depending on where a nurse work, these tasks that I will mention may change. Different tasks my varies depending on the specialty areas or whether the set up is an out patient center, infusion center etc. But for the most part the daily responsibilities of nurses are the same. Just like what we often say “Nursing is Nursing wherever we go”.
- First thing is, taking report or what we call bedside report. Whether it is in patient or outpatient set up, it should be the same. It should be done by the patient bedside as we would like them and the family member to be involved and has a say in any pertinent information that may be missing or incorrect.
- Assessing and planning nursing care that are needed basing on patient’s condition. Thorough nursing assessment is a key to plan out your day as it will let you know how much help or assistance a patient needs.
- Monitoring patients’ and handing out medications. As nurses, we would like to be focused and not be disturbed when getting those medications ready especially when handing them out to patients’ as it is very critical that we give the proper medications at a right time with the right dosages to the right patient. Not to mention educating patient with whatever medications they are being given.
- Monitoring of patients’ is basically a nurse responsibility for the entire shift together with the entire team but it is the nurses main responsibility to report to the physician if something is not right or if the patient has a change of condition.
- Reassessing of each patient’s specific needs. Like if they were given pain, anti anxiety, blood pressure, diabetic medications etc. A nurse needs to reassess how the patient is doing after an hour or so. This process could also fall under evaluation as it involves follow through to find out how effective a certain intervention is.
- Carrying out doctor’s orders which may include collecting blood, urine, stool and other samples.
- Following up on other patient’s orders like MRI, CT scan, X-ray etc. This requires getting on the phone and be able to communicate to different disciplines about patient conditions if needed or just to simply follow up on the time that it will be done as different patients’ has special needs or requirements.
- Data recording. Over the years, as a nurse who experienced paper and pen charting to computer charting, this has gotten so lengthy. Don’t get me wrong, it is very important to record everything from medication administration time, implemented interventions, physical assessments and what have you but this says it all….that nurses responsibility are a lot.
- Collaborating with the interdisciplinary team as it is important that each one knows within the team what is going on with the patient.
- Discharge planning. It is important that patient needs are met before they can be discharged and that their needs for when they go home has been determined prior to being discharged.
- Supervising or precepting a new nurse or a student nurse. If a nurse has been assigned to precept or mentor a new hire or a student nurse then she has to, on top her responsibilities that I have mentioned above, educate and supervise that person assigned to her.
- It is also a nurse responsibility to educate the patient and family member not only their medication but also about their condition as to how to prevent it from happening again and if there’s a special needs that a patient will be requiring for when he/she goes home.
- Discharging a patient, which should be done with thorough explanations as not all patients’ has good memories or with a family.
- Admitting a patient or patients’. This process requires a thorough technique also because the rest of the team will rely on those information gathered during admissions. It is also very important to pay attention to every details in assessing patient during admission as we do not want to miss specific areas that needs attention.
I believe it is important for a nurse to know all the responsibilities for him/her not to be disheartened especially for the new nurses. How sad is it to find out in the middle or at the end of the shift that a certain tasks should have been done by the nurse but all along the nurse have been waiting for the clerk or assistant to do it. Which sometimes causes disagreements to other staff member and aggravation to patient or family member. Thus, disorganization occurs. So…
How Do We Stay Organize As A Nurse
- First off, knowing the roles and responsibilities. And being ready to undertake them.
- Be punctual. It’s not a good feeling to have to rush and sometimes it affects others too. Oftentimes, it limits the productivity as well.
- Staying confident. It is important to develop a mind set that you can do it. It is not a rocket science, one just needs to be prepared and be willing to ask questions. Being scared or intimidated slows one down.
- Keep your mind on the job as a lot of nurses or other workers tend to juggle work with home issues.
- Stay focus on issues at hand. It is common knowledge that nurses multitasks. It is a practice that are needed at times but staying focus and knowing how to prioritize will make the day smoother.
- Practice the techniques of organizing workloads. I know some nurses place a box on each tasks per patients’ report or assignment sheet and checks them off as they become accomplished. It is known fact that each nurses especially the seasoned one, has their special techniques to make their daily roles less complicated.
- Work hand in hand with your coworkers as team work really plays a big part in making nurses’ day easier and less complicated.
- Be mindful and maintain the upkeep of the surroundings. There are some that has become busy and does not realize how unorganized his/her surroundings has turned out to be, but there are some who does not care and has the mentality that it’s the assistants or housekeeper who are responsible for cleaning the work area. Disorganization in the work area causes mental and physical unrest.
- Brushing up on skills. The inability to perform one task or an intervention due to lack of skills can cause slowing down of the process which may affect the patient, other staff member or disorganization of the workloads.
- Brushing up on critical thinking. Knowing what to do and when to do it plays a big role in being organized as it will shorten the time of doing things instead of grabbing for information right when it’s needed.
- Communicating well with patients’ and family members. It is a must that they know the plan which makes them be prepared for whatever is going to be done IE. tests or any procedures that are needed to be completed.
- Make it a habit to check supplies.
- Be Always on the look out for doctor’s orders as this can creep up on you.
- Work well with your co-workers, it is amazing how this helps a lot. As I have said, nurses has so many roles and responsibilities. Our tasks gets easier if everybody likes each other and are willing to give each other a hand.
- Being patient. There are times our day will not go as planned and stuff gets in the way. It’s alright, stay calm, stop whining and complaining as those are time-consuming.
Benefits Of Being Organize As A Nurse
To sum it all up, by being organize productivity goes up. It will save time, more effort and it gives more room to do other things that are also important. The day becomes more relaxed and calmer which prevents stress. It gives you more time to review or evaluate those tasks that were undertaken. And the most important thing is you can come home on time thus it gives you more time for your family.
So what do you think of nurses?
If you have anything to add or any questions, don’t hesitate to leave a comment down below. Thank you for reading.