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What Registered Nurses Do

The Registered Nurse (RN) is often considered to be the bulwark of the healthcare industry in that they provide critical services and act as one of the main points of service for patients. They perform this function in a variety of ways. The Registered Nurse (RN) can provide direct service, educate a client, work on community health, work in a variety of specialized capacities or delegate services to other nurses.

In their usual capacity working in a hospital or medical office, the RN will perform their direct care through the following process of: assessment, diagnosis, care plan creation, interventions, and continuing evaluation.

When the nurse first meets the patient they will assess the patient’s current health and needs taking vitals and asking the patient a variety of clarifying questions. This assessment period is a holistic approach with factors in various additional factors such as: lifestyle, economic, cultural and psychological background. The RN will then make a diagnosis that they will relate to a doctor if one is deemed necessary. Once a diagnosis has been made, the RN will make a care plan for the patient including any necessary interventions or medications. The plan usually will be broken up into long term as well as short term goals. For example, a patient with multiple symptoms who is in severe pain might be given pain relieving interventions or medications with a doctor’s approval. The longer term goal in this scenario would be to assess and address any additional symptoms and their underlying causes. Once the plan is established, the RN will receive a doctor’s authorization for necessary procedures and medications based on hospital operating procedures. Once any implementations have been done the RN will then assess a patient’s progress through an evaluation process. At each stage the RN will provide adequate documentation of their assessment, findings, diagnosis and care plan in order to create an easy to follow record of patient care.

In addition, and RN provides direct patient care doing things such as giving a patient medication or injections with a doctor’s approval. The RN can also assist a doctor in performing a variety of medical procedures as well as operating a variety of medical equipment. These are some of the many ways in which an RN provides direct services to patients in tangible ways.

The RN can also act in a public health or educational capacity with patients, their families, groups or even communities. This can include all manner of education from dispensing basic first aid advice to a group of outdoor enthusiasts, to explaining the importance of diet and exercise to members of a local gym. The RN has the authority to address care for a variety of illnesses as well as chronic conditions and is able to formulate their own plan on how to deliver their educational message to their target audience. The RN might also work in capacities such as public health initiatives where addicts are screened for HIV or Hepatitis. The RN is able to act in a variety of capacities to increase the public health through education or certain diagnostic or therapeutic approaches.

The RN is able to fill a great variety of functions and complete a vast array of tasks within various health organizations whether in a hospital or as part of a public health initiative. The RN can also specialize in sub-sectors of health care such as Pediatric Oncology or Midwifery. The RN’s extensive training and healthcare knowledge makes them one of the most versatile paths in all of nursing.

To become an RN you will need to become certified as a Registered Nurse. To learn more about certification you can visit the American Nurses Credentialing Center.