What Does A Registered Nurse Do: Understanding The Roles

The profession of nurse is best for individuals looking for a career in the healthcare sector. While there are numerous nurse types, the one designation which stands out the most is registered nurse (RN). Have questions regarding what does a registered nurse do?

Registered nurses play various roles and responsibilities. Becoming an RN requires skills, experience, and the right educational qualifications. Here we will learn about registered nurses’ roles and responsibilities. After reading this, you will have the answer to your question about what does a registered nurse do.

What Does A Registered Nurse Do?

The roles and responsibilities of a registered nurse can vary based on the healthcare setting. You should be aware that an RN doesn’t work only in hospitals. 

Registered nurses can perform their duty in schools, clinics, living facilities, households, etc. Nurses also have the opportunity to specialize in pediatrics, cardiac care, geriatrics, emergency nursing, etc.

Regardless of the employer, there are a few basic duties that RNs perform. A general job description of a registered nurse includes:

  • Administering patients medications
  • Monitoring any side effects or reactions caused due to treatment and medications
  • Updating and recording the medical data of a patient
  • Checking for vital signs and maintaining proper reports 
  • Coordinating and consulting with doctors and the healthcare team
  • Preparing, implementing, and evaluating the care plan of the patient
  • Educating family members and patients about the care plans and treatments

It’s also crucial for an RN to remain updated with the latest tools and technologies. Knowing this will help the registered nurse offer the best care to their patients and offer the best assistance to other providers.

Nurses must have software and technical skills for this role. Technical skills are important to offer high-quality care. Besides, there are many transferrable skills that are shared between the best nurses.

To ace the job of a registered nurse, individuals must own emotional intelligence, teamwork, excellent communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills.

The Working Environment Of A Registered Nurse

We mentioned before that RNs offer care in various healthcare settings. Depending on the environment and the specialty, the job description of a registered nurse can differ. 

To clarify the nurse’s responsibilities in different environments, we have written the most common work environments for the RNs. By comparing them, you can also figure out the best healthcare settings for you.

What Does A Registered Nurse Do At A Hospital?

Hospital is one of the most common work settings for registered nurses. As per the BLS report, a vast majority of registered nurses, about 60%, work in a hospital.

Common examples of RNs that work in a hospital environment include nurse managers, cardiac care nurses, perioperative nurses, and delivery and labor nurses.

A hospital nurse’s day starts with the report of the departing shift. They also receive updates regarding the discharges and admissions of patients. This update includes whether the patient’s conditions have improved or worsened. 

After receiving all the updates and reports comes the patient. A registered nurse also has to count the medications and perform patient assessments, which normally come with medical and vitals evaluation.

These hospital nurses also have the job of administering medication, changing dress, and documenting care in the record of patients. As the hospital runs 24/7, the working shifts of hospital registered nurses can vary significantly.

What Does A Registered Nurse Do At A Clinic?

The registered nurses working at a clinic are required to come before the doctor. It is also done in order to get ready for the day’s appointments. Their work includes preparing the exam tables and monitoring ophthalmoscope lights and an otoscope. They are also required to turn on computers and prepare charts for the day.

The clinic work normally runs based on the number of appointments. The working schedule of a nurse can also differ based on how many patients are visiting. On average, a clinic sees around 15-30 patients per day. A nurse has to perform regular tasks such as checking the patient’s weight, height, and other vitals.

The nurse has to collect details related to the illness or injury of the patient. Afterward, these details are passed on to the physician. After the patient visits with the physician, the nurse has to perform some follow-up tests and procedures as recommended by the doctor.

Clinic registered nurse deals with patients who don’t have life-threatening injuries. Also, these nurses working hours are predictable.

What Does A Registered Nurse Do In Intensive Care?

Intensive care or critical care involves providing treatment to patients with life-threatening conditions requiring constant and instant care. Additionally, nurses that work in intensive care are called using different titles such as ICU nurse, trauma nurse, or NICU nurse. 

The responsibilities of intensive care nurses are to provide care to dying patients, insert injections and IVs, and educate the patient’s families about caring and life support for people who have brain injuries. They also deal with patients who have gone through major accidents, faced trauma, suffered strokes, and have illnesses that are life-threatening.

Intensive care is for those who have critical thinking skills and can keep cool in stressful conditions. Registered nurses must have excellent communication skills and empathy. They also have to deal with patients’ families requiring emotional support during difficult times.

In Ambulatory Care, What Does A Registered Nurse Do?

The ambulatory care stands for nurses who deal with patient care outside the hospital area. Ambulatory care includes outpatient facilities like surgery, home hospice, and rehabilitation centers.

Out of all the ambulatory care services, hospice is the most common. The typical roles of hospice nurses consist of offering care, confirming proper medications ordered, doing assessments about patients’ comfort and safety, and educating family members and patients about side effects and medications.

A rehabilitation or hospice setting permits the staff to form strong bonds with the patients and know about each other for a significant period. Meanwhile, surgery center nurses face new patients every day.

These duties can vary based on the ambulatory care you are offering.

Final Words

We hope you got the answer to what does a registered nurse do now. As you can see, the registered nurse roles can differ based on their settings, and answering this question can be quite complicated. Starting your career in the healthcare sector as a registered nurse cannot go wrong.

Searching for career opportunities in the healthcare sector? Unsure regarding what will be the best course of action? I’KARE Consulting Firm is the best place to solve all your doubts. We offer guidance and carrier opportunities to people who want to be a part of the healthcare sector. Contact us to start your journey in the right way!

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