Registered nurses have many different responsibilities that they have to accomplish throughout their 8 – 12 hour day from managing multiple patients at the same time, keeping track of medications and assisting doctors & other nurses with specific tasks to recording and keeping patient medical records, monitoring medical equipment and keeping accurate logs of medical tools.
The amount and types of responsibilities registered nurses are in charge of also changes depending on their field of specialty.
General registered nurses that work at a hospital or health care facility are responsible for providing their patients with high-end medical support and emotional care.
They educate patients about the injuries or illnesses they have and help them by providing patients with answers to questions they may have about their condition/illness while also helping their patients recover and achieve full health.
These registered nurses use their expertise to exam and record their patients symptoms, assess the ailments that their patients have, administer treatment plans, monitor medication intake and delivery, focus on the process of rehabilitation, monitor the patients state of recovery, and combine their efforts with other medical professionals by exchanging information to promote a healthy recovery of the patients medical condition and hopefully bring the patient to full or optimal recovery.
As registered nurses gain experience they may choose to move into more specialized fields of health care and as a result their job functions and duties could change dramatically.
Legal nurses for example are responsible for providing lawyers, attorneys and judges with medical expertise & information pertaining to cases where an individual was harmed, injured or under the influence of drugs.
These nurses use their expertise to assist attorneys with medical injuries or abuse cases involving the individual and use their expertise to identify whether its a legitimate case and if so the cause of the and extent of the injury in question .
They will also help by obtaining and maintaining legal documents and patient medical records, research the clients and/or accusers medical history, provide assistance to the attorney, judge and jury by helping them understand medical terms that may be too complex or difficult to understand without the assistance of a medical professional and bring their knowledge to number of medical factors that could play a major role in the case.
Forensic nurses can be found working at a hospital or at the scene of a crime and will use their medical knowledge to determine what lead to an individuals injury or death.
In cases when dealing with a patient that may be afraid to admit abuse or when the patient has no recollection of an event (ie. being abused while unconscious) forensic nurses will inspect the patients body and perform a number of tests to figure out what types of injuries the patient may have received and how the injuries occurred.
They will also communicate with the patient and provide emotional support and look for both verbal and non verbal cues to help in figuring out what happened.
In situations where an individual was found dead forensic nurses may work alongside a forensic team and/or law enforcement to figure out the cause of death and decide whether it was of natural causes, drugs, injuries or from an accident.
Psychiatric or mental health care nurses provide specialized care to patients that are suffering from various mental illnesses or mental/emotional anguish.
Psychiatric nurses help patients by treating patient illness or stress related ailments related to their field of expertise such as bipolar disorder, severe depression, dementia, psychosis and schizophrenia and will use their knowledge to provide patients with a variety of therapies which are designed to alleviate and lower stress and/or symptoms of mental illness.
Research nurses focus on researching and implementing new medical discoveries which can be used to further advance the field of nursing and provide patients with better medical care.
Research nurses will research new diseases, drugs, treatments & medical devices, assist in clinical trials and educating patients about how the new treatments and procedures may affect them, work with other health care facilities to check for abnormalities in the clinical trials
These nurses can be found working with a number of different health care organizations such as hospitals, medical universities, research facilities, pharmaceutical companies and privately owned companies.
As you can see from these few examples the responsibilities and duties of a registered nurse can vary greatly depending on their area of specialty.
In the end all fields of nursing focus on providing patients with proper medical care, treatments and emotional support, advancing the science of medicine and patient care and assisting lawyers and law enforcement with cases that require the knowledge of a medical specialist.
While the duties and responsibilities may change the ultimate focus of nursing is aimed at providing a healthier, safer society for everyone.