Nursing is a fascinating job with a lot of diversity. For those interested in a nursing career, here is a look at a typical nursing shift.

A Typical Hospital Shift

Something that all nurses report is that they get up early and finish late. This is definitely a position for someone who is dedicated to their patients. The typical hospital shift generally lasts for 12 hours.

Something all departments with shifts have in common is meeting with the night shift staff. The incoming shift needs to know what has changed with any patients since the previous day’s shift. They will also be informed of new admissions and any incidents. Then the day shift nurse goes through the notes left by physicians for any specific instructions. Lastly, the nurse looks through the files of all patients under their care.

Starting at 8 am, each patient is visited. Temperatures and blood are taken as required; blood sugar is tested for patients with diabetes. Results of previous blood work are checked. Then nurses go around assisting patients with tasks they cannot manage, such as a stroke patient who cannot get to the bathroom by themselves or feeding those who struggle with the activities of daily living. Lastly, nurses will give patients their medications. This stretch is the busiest time of the day for a nurse.

After lunch, nurses will assist new patients who have been admitted, hand out medications again, and update medical charts. They then prepare for the night shift handover.

Duties That Are Carried Out Throughout the Day

There are many activities that nurses have to undertake in a day. They take vital signs and obtain medical histories by asking patients about their symptoms and family. Nurses conduct examinations and provide medications authorized by each patient’s physician. They draw blood for tests and take urine samples. Nurses take care of wounds and change dressings. They set up equipment and connect drips.

If a nurse feels a patient needs diagnostic testing, they will request this and take the patient for x-rays, for example. A nurse can also recommend a treatment plan or support options after discharge.

Nurses must be empathetic. They must calm patients’ anxieties and teach them to manage their conditions. Families of patients may also require counseling.

What About Other Departments and Vacancies?

Nursing is an extensive field. With the critical shortage of nurses around the world, there are always openings. An aspiring nurse can select their preferred department, train as a registered nurse, and take the extra qualifications for that specialty.

Nurses work in emergency rooms, ICU, cancer and cardiac wards, theaters, and clinics. There are family nurses, psychiatric nurses, and geriatric nurses. Nurses are also needed for dialysis centers. There are also positions available in care homes for the disabled and elderly; for example, if you search ‘assisted living facilities near me hiring’ you’ll see Belmont Village has vacancies for nurses.

Each type of nurse will perform additional functions specific to their department. Here is an example of what nurses at a dialysis center do.

Nursing will continue to be one of the most respected professions.

By Manali