A general registered nurse treats and educates patients, provides emotional support and advice and often educates the public regarding many medical conditions. They require a large knowledge base, which they use to evaluate, plan, prevent disease, promote good health, and help not only patients but also their families deal with illness and injury. This includes home care needs, teaching patients how to administer their own medication, exercise and diet programs and physical therapy.
A general registered nurse records their patient’s symptoms, keeping the patients medical records up to date, operate medical equipment, and often help with diagnostic tests, administer medications and treatment and do follow-up visits when necessary. Many nurses work with the public, educating them on the different warning signs of illness, disease and telling people what they should do if they require help. They often run blood drives, immunization clinics or general health screening seminars.
Over the years, a general registered nurse has seen a considerable change in his or her nursing responsibilities. They are highly valued and respected members of the healthcare profession, bringing knowledge and expertise to their patients and community. They work along side physicians, specialists and other healthcare providers and are an extremely important and valued member of the team. Registered nurses often work in hospitals and healthcare facilities, although many work in patient’s homes, schools, nursing homes and other sites. Their job is often high stress, physically demanding and they need to be able to work well under pressure. This is a very rewarding and important career.
Common work activities include:
- Meeting with patients to discuss their health concerns, complete family and medical history and update or create medical charts and information.
- Assisting the treating physician with completing the examination, treatment or other procedures.
- Comforting and supporting patients and the families during medical procedures.
- Working as part of the patient’s treatment or care team to ensure high quality medical services and support.
- Helping patients understand physicians orders, helping with feeding, bathing, medicating and treating patients in hospital or long term care facilities.
- Educating and training family members on basic medical care for patients.
- Completing all charting, medical records and data entry as required.
- Monitoring and accounting for all medical supplies and prescription medications given to patients during their hospital stay or recovery period.