The amount of variation between each shift as a registered nurse is incredible. New patients, new treatments, and new technologies dominate the ever-changing schedule of an RN; however, many of these nurses actually follow a similar pattern of tasks across the board. For anyone interested in taking on the role of registered nurse, here’s a peek into what your day might look like.
Communicate with Other Staff
When a nurse first clocks in to his or her shift, the previous nursing shift often gives a briefing on any important patient activities or incidents that might affect their treatment going forward. Then, the nurse will typically review the patient schedules for their shift, evaluate treatment plans for the day, and schedule any doctor’s visits or time slots for equipment usage. To wrap up the start of their shift, the nurse may check their work emails to see if there’s anything in their inbox that needs priority.
Make Patient Rounds
Once a nurse has settled into their shift, they’ll typically head out to make the first patient rounds of the day. This includes communicating with patients, actively listening to their needs, taking vitals, and recording everything in the patient chart. Patient rounds are also an important window for med passes, or the scheduled time to deliver medications to each patient. Depending on whether a nurse is working a morning or night shift, they may need to assist patients with their morning meal.
Take a Lunch Break
Lunch breaks aren’t a guarantee for registered nurses. They can certainly dedicate time to stepping away to reenergize with a meal, but medical emergencies always take priority. So, if any unexpected changes happen over a nurse’s lunch, they’ll have to address the situation and make time for meals at another point in the shift. Many nurses bring quick and simple snacks, like granola or protein bars, so they can take bites on the go.
Finish the Day
Wrapping up a nursing shift is similar to starting one. At the end of their workday, nurses often conduct their final patient rounds to check on any last-minute needs, conduct final med passes, and assist patients with their final meals if the shift ends around dinnertime. Typically, they’ll then brief the incoming nurses that will take over for the next shift and check over patient charts to make sure that every document is in order. The next shift can then fully relieve the nurse to head home and catch up on some well-earned rest.
Becoming a Registered Nurse
The role of a registered nurse is one of the most fulfilling ones on the job market. If you’re interested in taking on this challenging and rewarding career, partner with a healthcare recruiter that can pair you with the right facility. At HealthCare Support, we strive to place RN’s in the setting they’ll thrive in most, which is why we dedicate our days to understanding our talent force members and our partnering healthcare providers. If you would like more information or are interested in joining our growing talent force, call 407-478-0332.