As this guest post explains, not all nurses may admit it, but they truly live an exciting life. It is like there is never a routine for them. Something extraordinary will come up to make their day the most unforgettable, particularly for nurses stationed at emergency rooms. If anyone can see people in their most vulnerable state, it is a nurse. There is never a typical day for a nurse, really. Every day is a different day. Every day is a new day. Every shift can be exciting, exhausting, tiring, and fulfilling.
Different healthcare workplaces can assign varying roles for nurses. This assignment can depend on the daily needs of the hospital or clinic they are working for. It can also vary based on the level of expertise of nurses. Newbie nurses getting training and clinical rotation may only see and handle minor cases. Sometimes, if they are short on manpower, they can also take turns replacing bedsheets and hospital curtains.
To give you an idea of how nurses spend their 12 hours a day, read on below:
Most nurses begin their day before everyone else is up. They are often preparing for their shift by having breakfast and stealing a few minutes of “me time” before they head out and take on the day.
Before starting their duties, day shift nurses convene with their co-workers who went on duty the night before. The night duty nurse collates all updates and turns it over to the reliever. All information about the patient including mental states, medications, new admissions, or other essential details that may have occurred during their shift must be passed on to the incoming nurses on duty. Upon acceptance, day shift nurses then review tasks, doctor’s orders, and read up on all details of patients they have to see that day.
Mornings are the busiest time of the day for nurses. They have to start the rounds checking on every patient’s status, and record any changes. Nurses have to manage their time accordingly because they have plenty of tasks to accomplish such as checking blood work, monitoring blood sugar levels of diabetic patients, and admitting new patients that come in during their shift.
Unfortunately, there is no assurance that nurses will be able to take a 12-noon lunch break. If there’s an opportunity, nurses will try to squeeze in lunch. For busy nurses, lunchtime means having whatever they can eat in between tasks.
Most nurses frequently find themselves managing new patients in the afternoon. A lot of patients who arrived from the previous shift could be discharged while several more can be admitted during their shift. Nurses also have to serve as the point person of relatives who have questions about the patient’s condition and status.
As their shift ends, nurses cannot go home yet. They have to prepare documents and the orders they will turn over or endorse to the nurses who will take the night shift. Again, nurses will have to double-check or even triple-check the charts and make sure they carried out all necessary orders. If not, they must inform the night shift nurses.
So there you have it, a day in the life of a nurse. Of course, what happens during each day could never be summarized in an article like this. Nurses live a tough life, and they should receive credit for all the care they give their patients. On their days off, they deserve long breaks where they can relax and unwind.