A Staff nurse typical day varies depending on a number of factors, including the location they work in, both geographically and in terms of the type of facility; the size of the staff and nursing team; and the population they serve. RNs working in a physician’s office, for example, may take on some administrative work, while registered nurses working in a hospital are less likely to do this kind of work.
No matter how broad a registered nurse’s duties may be, they’re typically responsible for the following tasks:
- Assessing, observing, and speaking to patients
- Recording details and symptoms of patient medical history and current health
- Preparing patients for exams and treatment
- Administering medications and treatments, then monitoring patients for side effects and reactions
- Creating, implementing, and evaluating patient care plans with the medical team
- Performing wound care, such as cleaning and bandaging them
- Assisting in medical procedures as needed
- Operating and monitoring medical equipment
- Drawing blood, urine samples, and other body fluids for lab work
- Educating patients and family members on treatment and care plans, as well as answering their questions
- Supervising licensed practical and vocational nurses, nursing assistants, and nursing students
So what does a day in the life of an RN look like? According to Glynn, the shift typically starts with getting a report from the previous shift. Then the RN will complete their own assessment of the patient by obtaining their vital signs like blood pressure and heart rate. This is all in an effort to orient yourself to where your patient’s health is and where it needs to be.
“Then you administer the medications, and you’re always checking their lab results,” says Glynn. “As a nurse, you’re constantly assessing and reassessing, and then meeting with the team, the patient and their family, and with the case management team.”
Essentially, RNs are critical to healthcare operations because they work with many other nurses and medical professionals on their team to ensure quality patient care, inform patients of their health needs and administer treatment, and keep hospitals and medical facilities performing to their highest standards.v