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What Do Nurses Do? (RN)

by Elizabeth Russ

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    00:01 Let's talk about what nurses do.

    00:03 So back in the olden days, before things like HIPAA and hospitals being locked down like they are now, it was much easier to go in and shadow at health care jobs.

    00:12 But that hasn't been the case for many years.

    00:14 And so it's hard to be able to get in the hospital and actually see what does a nurse do and if it's something that you might actually like and the media is no help at all because it portrays nurses in the back of room standing, trying to hook up with surgeons in the call room.

    00:27 And honestly, social media doesn't help either, as it's really tries to just glamorize the profession.

    00:33 So to understand a nurse's role, I want you to think of a train.

    00:37 This is a very exclusive train.

    00:38 There's only one passenger.

    00:40 The passenger is the patient.

    00:42 The patient is trying to get to their destination, which is health, and they may not know exactly how to get there.

    00:48 So they go and they seek the care of a railroad maker.

    00:51 The railroad maker is the health care provider here.

    00:53 They know all the routes that the patient's train can take.

    00:57 They also know what the quickest is.

    00:59 What would be the best for this particular patient, given that they know where they've traveled before and they'll be calling the shots on the basic path that the patient's train will take to get to their final destination.

    01:10 But the railroad maker is not going on the train itself because they are in charge of a bunch of trains.

    01:17 And they are, they look at more of the broad picture for the people.

    01:21 They give the directions and the conductor of the train actually runs that one train.

    01:25 Nurses are the conductors.

    01:27 The conductors take the plans from the railroad maker and they implement them, doing all the steps required, following all the orders laid out ahead of them.

    01:35 But the conductor doesn't just follow orders.

    01:38 They know all the intricacies of the actual train, how to keep it running, how to manage all the different alarms, the trains, the tubes, the gadgets that are all there to keep the patient safe on their journey to health .

    01:49 Conductors are constantly looking at the scene and making sure everything is going exactly as it should, making adjustments as needed to keep things running on course.

    01:58 And they are what keeps the entire journey on track when they're - that is their expertise in their knowledge.

    02:04 They come over the overhead speaker and tell the traveler where they're going, what the scenery is, what's happening around them.

    02:11 They answer the patient's questions.

    02:13 They teach them the best way to navigate the train and to give them the best idea how to make their ride even smoother.

    02:19 And they even know the train and the passenger quite well and are constantly checking in on them to make sure that both the plan is going as it should and the passenger is having an okay ride.

    02:30 They coordinate stops at different train depots like physical therapy station and advocate for a route that would make the patient the most comfortable and that would be safest for them.

    02:39 If something goes wrong with either the passenger or the track, the conductor recognizes the problem and notifies the railroad manager, and the conductor gives recommendations to the railroad manager as to, you know, what could happen, what could make it better in these meetings, because they're all specialized in this train, after all. And if they get to be part of the conversation as a whole, that's how problems get to be solved.

    03:01 They implement the changes and continue to problem solve, educate and assess the situation until the passenger has safely found their destination.

    03:09 Hopefully, which is health.

    03:11 As a nurse, you won't be writing the orders or directing the whole plan for the patient, but you will be in charge of assessing the situation, educating the patient, educating the family, noticing trends and alerts and teams and changes, and advocating for people.

    03:26 Ensuring safety, administering medications and performing bedside procedures.

    03:31 Coordinating care with the rest of the interdisciplinary team.

    03:34 People like respiratory therapists, physical therapists, social workers, food service and on and on and on.

    03:40 You are the master of implementation of health care and the coordinator of what would otherwise be chaos.

    03:47 Some of the jobs can be messy, and it's not all sunshine and roses like sometimes Instagram shows you, but it's a career with so many options.

    03:56 Stay tuned in the next module where we will be discussing some of those options and what's available to you in working in different settings in the hospital.


    About the Lecture

    The lecture What Do Nurses Do? (RN) by Elizabeth Russ is from the course Is Nursing Right for You? (RN).


    Author of lecture What Do Nurses Do? (RN)

     Elizabeth Russ

    Elizabeth Russ


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