What Does a Nurse Do?

Many potential future nurses are worried about their ability to deal with certain aspects of patient care. Some may feel queasy around blood, while others may be freaked out by needles. What does a nurse do in these situations? Because these concerns shouldn’t hold you back from achieving your dream and committing to earning your accelerated BSN. Our nurse blogger shares what she does everyday to overcomes her queasiness of blood and how her strengths improve her patient care.

I wish I could say I am an expert nurse, but the truth is I am not. While I do know how to expertly handle many situations, there are always new situations I am unfamiliar with. No matter how well one did in school, it takes years of on-the-job training to become familiar with all the different health problems and situations one might come across. Even the most intelligent, experienced nurses encounter situations they have never seen before. The ever-changing world of nursing is what makes it so attractive to many as a career. It forces one to stay up to date and educate one’s self year after year.

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What Does a Nurse Do When Faced with their Greatest Weakness

My greatest weakness in nursing dates back to before I ever entered nursing school. When I was a child I would get lightheaded and sweaty at the site of blood. Even just talking about someone having surgery made me nauseated. I remember my brother falling off his bike and needing stiches in the third grade. While at the doctor’s office I had to lie down and drink orange juice. My brother, on the other hand, did just fine. This uneasiness followed me into high school. My mom had to pick me up from the nurse’s office the first day we dissected fetal pigs. I was literally vomiting from it. How could someone like me ever be an ER nurse?

I think I fully started to want to conquer my issue with gore and guts the day I got sick from the fetal pigs. The course I was in was not required but recommended for people who intended to go into some type of bachelor program in health sciences after high school. I remember having my mom pick up masks and applying menthol scented lotion above my upper lip when returning the next day for the fetal pig dissection. I was ready and I was determined to make it through that class. In the end I was able to dissect that piggy without a mask or menthol lotion on my lip. I continued to use the same technique when it came to clinicals in nursing school. There were undoubtedly many smelly, gory tasks I encountered that initially made me queasy, dizzy and physically sick, but I forced myself to keep going back. Today there isn’t much that fazes me outside of someone who hasn’t showered in about three weeks.

What Does a Nurse Do with their Greatest Strengths

I know I am not the smartest or most experienced ER nurse to date. I do, however, bring a special set of skills to the ER that makes me unique. Many of the nurses I work with have only ever been ER nurse. I, on the other hand, started my nursing career working on a medical, surgical oncology unit. Many people think of med surg and cringe. It is commonly referred to as boring and tedious. I believe it is a great starting ground for new nurses. I learned so much about various medical problems and medications while working on a medical surgical unit. I’m better at accessing ports and understand what the inpatient physicians want done for their patients before they leave the ED. I’m not afraid to call an internist or admitting doc and alert them to changes in patient status, whereas some ER nurses rely strictly on the ER physician to do this. I also know how to use the electronic medical record better than many of the ER nurses I work with because it was implemented on the inpatient units first. Even more, many ER nurses don’t administer certain home medications often. In the ER we are administering more pain medication and life saving, critical drugs. For this reason being a medical surgical nurse first allowed me to become familiar with a wider array of medications. I also think I understand what happens on the inpatient side more so than a nurse who has never worked inpatient. This helps me to better work with the inpatient nurse to transition the patient from the ER to the floor. Overall, I am so grateful for the foundation medical surgical nursing laid for me. It has greatly improved my skills as an ER nurse.

A Nurse’s Specialized Skills

The saying “a nurse is a nurse is a nurse” is a big myth. Nurses bring a wide array of skill sets that make each one unique. For example, a behavior health nurse could not show up to a medical surgical floor and perform efficiently just as a medical surgical nurse could not show up to labor and delivery and deliver babies. Each nurse bringing specific skills sets are what make nursing a team effort. Nurses can always learn something from their fellow colleagues. Sometimes even the most seasoned nurses learn things from the newest of nurses.

Want to learn more about becoming a nurse and starting nursing school? Get a behind-the-scenes look at nursing school and what nurses do everyday.
If you are feeling more confident about your future as a registered nurse, contact us today to speak to an advisor about earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

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