What Are The Many Roles Of A Nurse?

Nurses have expanded the role of caregiver to being health advocates, educators, and researchers. No matter the hat they wear, determination and passion remain the characteristics of successful nursing careers.

Multifaceted Caregivers

Today, nurses have a broader role in their community—advocating for patients and promoting healthy lifestyles. They have also advanced as specialists and healthcare leaders.

Additionally, nurses are offering evidence-based treatment. They are well-informed and use their vast healthcare knowledge to take a comprehensive view of a patient’s wellbeing.

Generally, nurses’ patient care responsibilities include:

  • administering medications
  • conducting medical exams
  • recording patient medical histories
  • monitoring heart rate and blood pressure
  • performing diagnostic tests
  • operating medical equipment

Patient Care and Support

Nurses comfort patients and provide emotional support for them and their families. Communication is critical as they must listen to and assess patients’ physical, emotional, and mental needs, as well as their cultural and spiritual needs. Often, they must make sure that the patient understands their treatment.

Managing patient treatment plans is another important aspect of nursing. Nurses must be able to think critically when treating patients because they are directly involved in decision-making about care. This includes identifying problems and making the appropriate recommendations.

Patient Advocacy

Nurses are also fulfilling roles within the community.

The American Nurses Association states in its code of ethics that nurses not only promote and protect the rights, health, and safety of patients, but also advocates for them.

For nurses, patient advocacy includes listening to a patient who must make a critical decision; offer a platform for patients and their family members to communicate their thoughts, beliefs, and needs; address unique cultural and/or religious needs of patients; and understand the impact of institutional policies and government on public health.

The importance of patient advocacy has grown in prominence in recent years. Basically, nurses serve as patient advocates when they protect the medical and legal rights of patients. It is about representing the patient’s best interest.

Patient Education

Patients and their families should know what to expect when they leave the hospital or clinic. In many aspects of patient care, nurses provide education, promote health and wellness, and share knowledge.

Often, nurses teach patients and patient family members how to manage care. They instruct on the importance of diagnosis, how to administer medication, and the proper dietary management for particular conditions. Nurses provide education on medications and treatments, especially when patients are discharged from the hospital and therefore responsible for their treatments at home. Patient education can also come in the form of referrals for services and resources.

Additionally, nurses teach other nurses. In fact, providing mentorship and education is a major part of the job for experienced nurses. Nurses may educate in clinical settings or the classroom (there may be advanced educational requirements for nurses working in academic settings). With a responsibility for preparing future generations of nurses, nurse educators serve an important role in strengthening the nursing workforce.

Discover Your Path

Nursing is certainly a dynamic profession. Nurses who recognize their unique talents can step into any number of roles that positively impacts patients and health care. Choose Carlow University’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program. This BSN nursing program provides the education needed to become a well-rounded nurse who can pursue pathways to achieve their career goals.

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