Working as a nurse is a career that is incredibly rewarding. However, it can also be very challenging. One of the reasons for this is that a nurse has to take on many different roles. With that being said, in this post, we are going to take a look at the different roles of a nurse below so you can get a better understanding. This should help you to know what to expect as a nurse.
The main role that a nurse has is to care and advocate for individuals, supporting them through any health battles or illnesses they are experiencing. However, there are a number of other roles that nurses have, which includes the following:
- Providing advice and support to patients
- Educating patients about managing illnesses
- Performing diagnostic tests
- Operating medical equipment
- Administering treatments and medications
- Monitoring patient health and recording any symptoms and signs
- Advocating for the wellbeing and health of patients
- Collaborating with teams to plan for patient care
- Recording medical history and symptoms
As a nurse, you are a caregiver for your patients. You need to help them to manage their physical needs, treat health conditions, and prevent illness. For this to be achieved, you need to monitor and observe patients, recording any of the relevant data while you make decisions during the treatment process.
Throughout the treatment process, the nurse will follow the patient’s progress, acting accordingly with the patient’s best interests in mind. The care that you provide goes beyond administrating medications and other types of therapies. You are responsible for your patients’ holistic care, which encompasses the spiritual, cultural, developmental, and psychosocial needs of the individual.
Aside from patient care, another important role that you are going to have as a nurse is patient advocacy. Your patients are always going to be your first priority. The role of the nurse is to make sure that your patient’s best interests are advocated for, maintaining the dignity of your patient through their care and treatment. This can include collaborating with other healthcare professionals and making suggestions in terms of the patient’s treatment plan.
This is especially important because patients who are not very well are typically not able to comprehend medical situations and act in the manner they typically would. It is the nurse’s role to support the patient and to represent the best interests of patients at all times, especially when decisions regarding treatment.
In addition to the different nurse roles that we have discussed above, as a nurse, you will be directly involved in the decision-making procedure for patient treatment. It is vital that they are able to think critically when evaluating patient signs and identifying possible patient issues so that they can make the appropriate actions and recommendations.
As other health professionals, such as specialists or doctors, are typically in charge of making the final treatment decisions, nurses need to be able to communicate details regarding patient health efficiently. Nurses are typically the most familiar with the individual situation of the patient, as they monitor the symptoms and signs on a continual basis, and they should collaborate with other medical team members to promote the best possible health outcomes.
Patient support and education
Nurses also have the responsibility of making sure that patients are able to comprehend their medications, illnesses, health, and treatments to the best of their ability. This is of the essence when individuals are discharged from the hospital and the responsibility of their treatments falls on their own shoulders.
A nurse should take the time to make sure the patient and their caregiver or family understand what they need to do and what they should expect once they leave the medical clinic or the hospital. They also need to ensure that the patient feels like they have support and that they know where to get any medical information.
Different roles for different nursing specialisms
Hopefully, the different elements that we have looked at above have helped you to get a better understanding of the roles of a nurse. Nevertheless, what you do need to consider is that your specific roles are going to vary depending on the type of nursing you practice in. Of course, all nurses are responsible for patient care, support, and advocacy. However, the way in which this is provided and the sort of setting that you work in will depend on what area of nursing you decide to progress into.
Some of the different roles that you may want to consider include the likes of becoming a nursing associate, children’s nurse, adult nurse, learning disability nurse, mental health nurse, prison nurse, travel nurse, neonatal nurse, health visitor, general practice nurse, district nurse, theatre nurse, and school nurse.
It is important to spend some time researching all of the different nursing specialisms so you can get a better understanding of what they entail and the educational route you are going to need to take to get where you want to be.
Final words on the roles of a nurse
So there you have it: an insight into the different roles that nurses have today. We hope that this has helped you to get a better understanding of some of the different responsibilities that you are going to have if you decide that you want to pursue a career as a nurse!
As a nurse, it is your main priority to make sure that you support and advocate for the patients that you care for. You are going to have a better understanding of how people are feeling and how they are coping, and so you are going to be in the best position to be their champion and to provide them with the support that they require.
Of course, as mentioned, there are plenty of different roles, and so you will need to make sure that you look into the options that are available and consider what path you want to go down when pursuing your career in nursing.