The question, “What are the Roles and Responsibilities of a Nurse?” sounds like a rhetoric question but you should not be quick to dismiss. To many people, the word nurse evokes images of a hospital employee dressed in a neat white or blue hospital uniform probably attending to a patient or moving up and down in response to emergency issues. This is partly the case but in the real sense, there is more to that. Registered nurses usually offer services in hospitals and outpatient facilities at which they provide close care to the sick by checking and following up on the patient’s conditions, keeping records, furnishing doctors with basic information etc.
Given the crucial role played by nurses in providing health care, it is important for them to have or exhibit certain basic attributes critical to their success in this medical practice. A nurse must be good at solving problems, they must have good interpersonal skills, be flexible and have a keen attention to details. They need to be empathic, have physical endurance, be emotionally stable and possess solid communication skills.
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Nurses are primarily supposed to provide care and support to patients during times of illness and hospitalization. Additionally, though, other responsibilities that accompany this calling include the provision of support and necessary advice to patients, Operation of medical equipment, the performance of diagnostic tests and monitoring of patients’ health as they record progressive signs. Nurses as well educate the sick about their ailments and teach them how best they can manage their conditions. They work hand in hand with other health care professionals to craft plans for patients’ care and also advocate for the wellbeing and healthy patients.
- Education and Support
One critical responsibility of a nurse is to make sure that patients are well enlightened with regard to their illnesses, overall health medications & treatments. This is quite essential because when patients leave the hospital, it is all up to them to manage their treatments. A nurse ought to spend enough time with a patient in the presence of their caregiver and comprehensively explain what needs to be done once they leave a medical institution. They should also ensure that the patient feels adequately supported and is guided on where to source for additional information should need to arise.
In their plan and course of duty, nurses accord the patient’s needs the first priority. A nurse is supposed to act in the patient’s best interest and seek to uphold the patient’s dignity in the course of care and treatment. They may collaborate with present senior health professionals in coming up with a fitting treatment plan for patients. This role plays an important function because when unwell, most patients are largely out of touch with themselves and hence unable accurately assess and explain their condition.
- Basic Care
As a caregiver, a nurse assists in the treatment of health conditions, prevention of illnesses, and management of the patient’s physical needs. Through the entire treatment process, the nurse monitors the patient’s progress and acts in keeping with the patient’s best interest. Note though that the care offered by a nurse goes beyond the provision of medication and related therapies. They assume a holistic approach while providing such care and this takes into account the spiritual, cultural, psychological and developmental needs of the patient.
Since senior health like specialists and doctors concern themselves more with making ultimate treatment decisions, nurses are expected to effectively communicate and report regarding the patient’s health. This is so because they are the ones charged with closely monitoring and recording symptoms and signs on a routine basis. Their report should be collaborated with that of the senior medical team to derive the best possible health outcomes