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What does an average day at work look like for you ?

As a Registered Nurse ?

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Jennifer’s Answer

Hi Yaasmin,
As a fellow Philadelphian and former registered nurse, I am more than happy to share my experiences with you.

A typical day for a registered nurse can vary depending on the specific setting in which they work, but generally, it involves a combination of patient care, documentation, collaboration with other healthcare professionals, and ongoing education and training. In a hospital setting, for example, a registered nurse may start their day by reviewing patient charts, administering medications, and providing direct patient care such as taking vital signs and assisting with activities of daily living. They may also collaborate with doctors, therapists, and other members of the healthcare team to develop and implement patient care plans.

In addition to direct patient care, registered nurses also play a crucial role in advocating for their patients, educating them about their conditions and treatments, and providing emotional support. They may also be responsible for documenting patient care and communicating with other healthcare providers to ensure continuity of care.

Overall, being a registered nurse is a rewarding and challenging profession that requires a combination of clinical skills, compassion, and critical thinking. If you have any more questions or would like to learn more about my experiences as a registered nurse in Philadelphia, please feel free to reach out to me.

Best regards,
Jennifer
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Martin’s Answer

The circumstances you'll encounter may share similarities, but they'll also differ based on the type of practice. If you're engaged in bedside nursing, your shift will kick off with a report, a review of the previous shift's notes, or a briefing on your assigned patients. Once you've familiarized yourself with the situation, and depending on the shift, you'll conduct rounds on your patients to gain both your own assessment and the patient's perspective on their condition. Vital signs will be taken at the start of the shift, and you'll ensure that any equipment, like pumps, are functioning properly and set to the prescribed parameters.

Assuming there are no urgent needs, you'll then proceed with the rest of your shift. Prioritizing the patient's cleanliness and comfort is always of utmost importance. During the shift, you'll likely administer various medications to your patient and, if you're lucky, you'll have the chance to build a rapport with your patient and their visitors, addressing their questions and concerns. You'll be documenting throughout your shift, likely on a computer or tablet. Day shifts will see a flurry of ancillary services such as radiology and therapies, and you'll learn to adapt your schedule accordingly. Night shifts are typically more peaceful, but your responsibilities to ensure patient comfort, check vitals, and dispense medications remain. The environment in hospitals will differ more than in a skilled nursing facility, for example.

If you're not working bedside, like in an office, the routine will vary based on the type of practice. However, the essence of nursing remains the same - prioritizing patient care, addressing their needs, concerns, and issues is fundamental to any type of practice.

Bear in mind, you're part of the "establishment" and are familiar with the routines and expectations. Patients and their companions, on the other hand, may be unfamiliar and possibly anxious, full of questions and concerns. They look to you, the nurse, for answers. If you don't know the answer, don't attempt to bluff. Simply assure them you'll look into the matter and get back to them. Doing so not only establishes trust but also provides more support than most realize. Plus, it gives you the chance to learn something new for future reference.

If your day is bustling, time will fly with all the tasks at hand. If it's a quiet day, cherish it and spend more time with your patients and their visitors. Whenever possible, sitting down in their room is highly recommended.
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