Registered nurses work to promote health, prevent disease and help patients cope with
illness. They are advocates and health educators for patients, families and communities.
When providing direct patient care, they observe, assess and record patient symptoms,
reactions and progress. Nurses collaborate with physicians in the performance of
treatments and examinations, the administration of medications, and the supervision of
direct patient care in convalescence and rehabilitation. Nurses duties can also vary from
setting to setting. Some of the settings you may see a registered nurses working in are
hospitals, home settings, nursing homes, clinics and other health-care facilities.
Most hospital nurses provide bedside care and carry out medical regimens. They
also may supervise licensed practical nurse and nursing aides. Hospital nurses usually
are assigned to one area, such as surgery, obstetrics, pediatrics, emergency room,
intensive care or treatment of cancer patients. Some may rotate among departments.
Clinic or office nurses care for outpatients in physicians offices, clinics, surgery centers
and emergency medical center. They prepare patients for and assist with. examinations,
administer injections and medications, dress wounds and incisions, assist with minor
surgery and maintain records. Some also perform routine laboratory and office work. An
increasing proportion of sophisticated procedures, which once were performed only in
hospitals, are being performed in physicians offices and clinics, including ambulatory
surgery centers and emergency medical centers.
Nursing home nurses manage nursing care for residents with conditions ranging from
a fracture to Alzheimer’s disease. Although they often spend much of their time on...