Registered nurses work in hospitals, clinics, at home and in other settings providing hands-on care to patients who suffer from mental and physical ill-health. Nurses’ responsibilities include observing and monitoring patients’ conditions, administering medications, maintaining records, managing intravenous lines and communicating with doctors. They give direction to and supervise nursing assistants and home care workers.
Beyond the physical care and support they provide, nurses also provide emotional support to family members of patients and to the patients themselves. They may educate the general public and patients on disease management, medical conditions and special diet plans, teach patients how to self-administer medication and give information on home care after treatment or fulfil other self-care duties.
Nurses form part of a medical team consisting of professional medical staff, including therapists, social workers and doctors. Typical job duties include: providing pre and post-operation care; planning and assessing nursing care requirements; taking patients’ temperatures, pulses, blood pressure and samples; administering intravenous infusions and medication; writing records; organising workloads; supervising junior staff; providing emotional support to both patients and relatives.
Employers of Nurses
Whether you’re looking for RMN jobs in Newcastle or a position in a London teaching hospital, there are many employers of nurses out there to approach. Typical employers include hospitals, NHS Trusts, agencies, health centres, residential homes, schools, private companies and GP practices. It is not uncommon to find twenty-four-hour shift work a requirement of the job.
Key Nursing Skills
Key skills required for nursing include a compassionate and caring nature, a good level of health and fitness, excellent people and teamwork skills, initiative, observational skills, resilience, stamina, written and verbal communication skills and the ability to deal with pressured and emotionally charged situations.
These days nurses are tasked with a huge array of healthcare responsibilities, and not only do they care for the sick, but they are changing the way health care is delivered, from giving TED talks to developing medical applications for smartphones, to publishing scientific research to actively addressing government policy in health care. Nurses are working together with their colleagues such as oncologists, social workers, public safety personnel and hospital administrators to develop and grow the field of healthcare. As the field grows, so do the opportunities for nurse educators, nurse researchers, nurse-anaesthetists, PhD nurses and nurse practitioners.
New Developments in Healthcare Technology
Further opportunities for nurses are opening up as new technology is introduced into healthcare. As more and more aspects become electronic within the profession, such as x-rays, test results, ordering medication and blood work, and a whole spectrum of new technologies such as electronic medical records, mobile devices, teleconferencing and cloud computing take over, nurses are encouraged to become digitally capable and ambitious.
While nursing continues to evolve along with the digital age, the heart of the profession remains the same. No matter what technologies and tools are introduced, the role of a nurse will always be that of a care-giver and advocate for the most vulnerable and sick members of our communities.