1. Bedside care: These nurses provide direct patient care usually in a hospital, long-term care facility, or home healthcare. Even within this category, there is a variety of hours worked and scheduling. So I will break it into two subgroups.
1a. Inpatient: a standard nursing shift is typically 12hrs a day 3 days a week. During this time nurses provide patient care by giving meds, performing assessments, and small procedures amongst many other responsibilities. Nurses are vital to the function of a inpatient healthcare team!
1b. Outpatient: These nurses provide direct patient care from ambulatory care centers. These are the nurses that work at doctors' offices, surgical centers, and any locations that do not provide overnight care! These nurses often work closer to a 9-5pm schedule with variations depending on the location!
2. Nonclinical nursing: This category includes people who completed their degree in nursing and use their degree (and often previous clinical experience) for work not involving direct patient care. These professionals can be found in healthcare administration, research and development, and nursing education (amongst others). These people tend to work a more 9am-5pm lifestyle but that is not always the case!
Long story short, the day-to-day life of nurses has almost infinite variation. It can be 1 on 1 care with patients in the critical care unit or it can be in a classroom full of students. You can work 3 days a week or you can work 5-6! This flexibility is one of the biggest benefits that the career offers!
Hope this helped!
James Constantine Frangos
James Constantine’s Answer
Nursing is a dynamic and diverse field, with each day bringing new challenges and opportunities. For those considering a career in nursing, it's important to have a clear picture of what a typical day might look like. This can help in making well-informed career decisions.
At its core, nursing is a profession that demands a high level of skill, empathy, and flexibility. A nurse's day is often a mix of hands-on patient care, team collaboration, continuous learning, and administrative duties.
One of the key roles of a nurse is direct patient care. This involves assessing the health status of patients, administering medications, providing necessary treatments, and monitoring vital signs. Nurses cater to patients across all age groups and health conditions, from children to the elderly. This part of the job requires strong clinical abilities, critical thinking, and effective communication skills to interact with patients and their families.
Beyond individual patient care, nurses also work closely with a diverse team of healthcare professionals to create and execute care plans for patients. This team can include doctors, specialists, therapists, social workers, and other healthcare providers, all working together to deliver well-rounded and coordinated care to patients.
Nursing also involves a commitment to lifelong learning. Nurses are expected to keep up with the latest developments in medical practices, technology, and healthcare regulations. This often means attending continuing education courses, maintaining up-to-date certifications, and engaging in professional development activities to enhance their clinical skills.
So, that's a glimpse into the life of a nurse, Anthony. It's a challenging yet rewarding profession that truly makes a difference in people's lives.
Take care and God Bless,
My job at the hospital was much better. I worked both nights and then days and can tell you that nights are slower and easier for a new grad to learn in. You have less staff so you learn to work together and get it done. You also don’t have as many interruptions from family and doctors. You typically have 4-6 patients on a medical/surgical floor. You have a secretary and aides to assist you. You still have morning, mid day and evening med passes but they do not take as long. Your job would mostly consist of taking orders, doing treatments and giving meds. You assess your patients at the beginning of shift and the go in at least every 2 hours to reassess and check on patient. You will typically be in there more often though. You notify the doctor if there is a change in condition or a critical lab result and take appropriate orders. Sometimes the doctor will ask your opinion what needs to be done and you will learn to trust your gut instinct if something just isn’t right with a patient. Days are about the same just busier, but I feel as if I learned more on days. In my opinion new grads should spend at least a year or two in med surg as it will hone your observation skills and teach you the basics of most disease processes so that you will be able to spot a problem easier. That in turn can apply to most any specialty area you want to work in.
Tara recommends the following next steps:
- Checking vital signs
- Providing direct patient care: conducting physical and psychological assessments, administer medications,
- collaborate with other healthcare team members to provide holistic care
- Interpret lab and other diagnostic test
- Providing patients with education on caring for their illness
-Working with families to help patients transition home prior to discharge.
Angela "Angie" Clark
Angela "Angie"’s Answer
I worked Adult CVICU for many years. I worked Every weekend 7pm-7am (24hrs)and was off during the week, so I could be home with my babies. I was paid more to work every weekend, so it almost equaled working (36hrs). When I got to work, I would get report from the outgoing nurse. I either had 1 or 2 patients at a time. (Often we only had 1 patient, because they would be extremely sick/busy stuff). I was responsible for all their care, including bathing, bedpans, etc. We didn't use nurse aids, so I loved having the patients to myself the whole shift. It was hard, stressful, but very rewarding.
I currently work as a Home Care Pediatric Nurse. I have 1 patient, that I'm responsible for. I work 4 10hour shifts/on nights. Total care, with some help from their family if needed. The pay is terrible, but the patients are amazing! I love my job & the independence it gives me as a nurse.