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Could you describe one your typical work days as an RN?

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100% of 2 Pros

2 answers

Suzanne’s Answer

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Hello Lyric,
I personally have worked in the hospital, in a private doctor's clinic (a large practice) and in two major cancer centers in Southern California. My days depended on the role I was fulfilling at the time.
But let's start with working in a hospital. The registered nurse is responsible for supervising and performing direct patient care activities (if you are working as a bedside nurse). The shifts can be 8, 10 or 12 hours depending on the schedule. I worked on a medical ward that cared for cancer patients. I would show up at least 30 minutes before my scheduled start time and start to get organized. We used to take report from the previous shift to ensure continuity of care.
Once my shift began, I would round on each of my patients and assess their status. Then I would perform all ordered procedures and pass all ordered meds, IVs, blood products, and administer chemotherapy. I would start IV lines. I would take out IV lines. I would insert urinary catheters and remove as well. I would do dressing changes when required. I would help people understand their treatments and talk to their families. I would make sure patients made it to the radiology department for their scans. I would sit with them if they were critically ill or dying. There was no such thing as a routine day. It was challenging, difficult, and different every single day. I would be assigned up to 12 patients per shift. On some occasions, I was the only assigned registered nurse, so I would have to pass medications on 21 patients and supervise their care.
If there was an emergency such as a "code blue" meaning that we had to attempt to save someone's life, I would hand-off my routine to a backup nurse, and attend to the emergency. Everything, every medication, procedure, important conversation, had to be noted in the patient chart. Charting is now electronic and is more streamlined. I would typically work for at least 30 minutes after my shift to make sure I had charted correctly, and left my patients in good condition.

I am sure that other nurses have very interesting work days as well and hope you get many responses.

Best to you!
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Cheryl’s Answer

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Hello Lyric,

I work as a nurse on a medical unit in the hospital currently in rural Oregon. I have a different schedule depending on what part of the unit I am on, but we have the acute area, and we have the psychiatric area, as well as the regular floor. The acute area we get bedside report, handoff patients, meet patients, and prioritize which patients to see first. The typical daily schedule consists of assessing each patient, administering their morning medication, helping with meals and activities of daily living. Administered IV medications, inserting and removing IV lines, Inserting and removing catheters, Doing patient admissions, and discharges.
When working as a relief charge, I focused on helping start Iv lines, helping patients, and focusing on making sure the floor is running smoothly. We also check the crash carts, address patient concerns, and help pass medications that other nurses are falling behind.
If working with the psychiatric patients on the floor we assessor patients, administer medications, help with activities of daily living, and help through the day. We also help the patients and the doctors during physicians visits.
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