Let's talk about what nurses do.
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.
But that hasn't been the case for many
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.
And honestly, social media doesn't help
either, as it's really tries to just
glamorize the profession.
So to understand a nurse's role, I want you
to think of a train.
This is a very exclusive train.
There's only one passenger.
The passenger is the patient.
The patient is trying to get to their
destination, which is health, and they may
not know exactly how to get there.
So they go and they seek the care of a
The railroad maker is the health care
They know all the routes that the patient's
train can take.
They also know what the quickest is.
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
But the railroad maker is not going on the
train itself because they
are in charge of a bunch of trains.
And they are, they look at more of the broad
picture for the people.
They give the directions and the conductor
of the train actually runs that one train.
Nurses are the conductors.
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.
But the conductor doesn't just follow
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
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.
And they are what keeps the entire journey
on track when they're - that is their
expertise in their knowledge.
They come over the overhead speaker and tell
the traveler where they're going,
what the scenery is, what's happening around
They answer the patient's questions.
They teach them the best way to navigate the
train and to give them the best idea how to
make their ride even smoother.
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.
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.
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.
They implement the changes and continue to
problem solve, educate and assess the
situation until the passenger has safely
found their destination.
Hopefully, which is health.
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.
Ensuring safety, administering medications
and performing bedside procedures.
Coordinating care with the rest of the
People like respiratory therapists, physical
therapists, social workers, food service and
on and on and on.
You are the master of implementation of
health care and the coordinator of what would
otherwise be chaos.
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.
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.