In our last article we talked about how to become a registered nurse. Today let’s take a closer look at what exactly a Registered Nurse or RN does on her job. A RN is an important part of the medical team in any healthcare facility. A registered nurse provides care for a patient as required. He or she also educates the patient and the caregivers as well as the general public about the many different health conditions that become rampant from time to time.
Let’s actually take a look at a typical day of a RN. When a patient arrives at the facility, one of the most critical duties is to take down the information with regard to the patient’s medical history. This goes on record and would need to be completely free of error as all future treatments would be decided upon keeping the history in mind. Therefore, the registered nurse would have to be meticulous in taking this information as well as listing the symptoms that has brought the patient in. This recording is followed by a discussion with the attending physician so that a treatment may be decided. The registered nurse would record the advice of the physician with equal attention to detail leaving no room for doubt on the name of the medicine or its dosage.
The patient would have to be given a set plan to follow once the diagnosis is made and the course of treatment is fixed. Monitoring this plan at regular intervals would be critical to the success of the treatment. As the treatment plan gets underway, keeping a record of the side effects as well as the reaction of the patient becomes one of the more important duties of a registered nurse. All of this is done along with regular consultations with the attending physician. If the treatment requires the use of sophisticated medical equipment; the registered nurse operates and monitors the use of such equipment. Diagnostic tests are performed during the course of the treatment so that the progress can be monitored and analyzed.
There are cases where the injury or illness does irreparable damage to the patient and the patient would need to make drastic changes to how they live. Towards this end, the registered nurse would help the patient in facing these challenges and managing the aftermath of such life altering changes.
In a large health care facility, there are a number of licensed practical nurses and aides as well as other junior medical staff. A registered nurse would be called upon to oversee the duties of such junior staff and provide mentorship where necessary. Also, registered nurses work closely with doctors and healthcare specialists. In some cases, they work with policy makers and consultants in order to promote general good health. They are called upon to educate the public and issue warnings when necessary.
Registered nurses may also specialize in one niche area such as diabetes management, dermatology, addictions, critical care etc. Some of them may combine one or two fields and specialize in them. Whatever the field of specialization, they earn in the range of $58,180 to $66,650 annually. The wages vary depending on the employer organization and the geographical location. All nurses including a registered nurse will have to be prepared to work in shifts as nursing care is usually provided round the clock. A registered nurse learns and grows by making sure that their license is current and their knowledge is up to date.