What Does a Nurse Do During a Typical Day on the Job?

What Does a Nurse Do During a Typical Day on the Job?

A typical day shift for a hospital nurse involves taking care of as many as five to seven patients, according to CNAPracticeTest.net. This increases to 10 to 12 patients on the night shift. However, intensive care nurses take care of only one or two patients.

Common routine nurse responsibilities include administering a patient's medication on time, dressing wounds and regularly assessing the patient's condition, states CNAPracticeTest.net. Even if the nurse may not personally perform checks for vital signs, as nursing assistants usually take them, the nurse receives alerts on patients whose vital signs fall outside of normal ranges.

As an advocate for the patient, the nurse informs the doctor of any adverse developments or patient complaints and leads medical interventions as per the doctor's instructions. She prepares patients for upcoming procedures such as diagnostic tests or surgery. She processes patient transfers by phoning the nurse in the receiving facility to provide information on the patient's condition and medical needs.

Upon discharge, the nurse gives the patient any medical prescriptions and reviews with him the doctor's instructions. The nurse keeps a detailed record of each event during a patient's confinement so other health care professionals are quickly updated of the patient's condition.

Nurses work long 12-hour shifts in a work environment that is always busy and understaffed, which make them prone to nursing burnout, according to Nursing Profession Education. Getting enough sleep, exercising, eating well and recognizing the signs help avoid burnout.