The primary role of a Registered Nurse (RN) is twofold; they serve as both caregiver and medical professional. Nurses are collaborators who work with doctors, patients, and family members to establish and cultivate a network of care.
In addition to the physical, nurses are often tasked with providing psychological and emotional support to patients and their families. Nurses promote health and wellness not only to prevent illness, but to assist their patients along the journey of becoming and being well. The best rehabilitation centers committed to providing quality healthcare to individuals and members of their community. The responsibility of this charge is actualized, in large part, by the nursing staff.
What happens behind-the-scenes in nursing?
If doctors and patients are the major players on the mainstage of professional healthcare, nurses are the stage managers, light designers, and supporting cast. Nurses are the friendly faces and steady hands of health care and without them the experience of creating healthy lives would be cold, sterile and ultimately unsuccessful.
It may be helpful to think of nurses as the nucleus of a cell. If the clinic, or hospital is the cell as a whole, picture the nurse at its center, as the pulse; everything else surging to and through it. Nurses are not doctors, nor are they custodial staff or receptionists, but their particular roles may often touch and even overlap. Registered nurses assist hospital staff and patients by engaging in both direct and indirect care.
These tasks include:
- updating patient records,
- administering medicine,
- making sure patients and their families are aptly informed,
- myriad other delicate tasks, all of which center the patient’s human needs.
Nurses can be non-official food servers, therapists, marriage counselors, beauticians, and friends.
While Doctors treat the illness, study it, and work to figure out why you are hurting, Nurses treat your experience of said illness. They concern themselves with where it hurts, how much, and what can be done to ease and eliminate your pain. Nurses study, practice, learn – and keep on learning – in order to provide the best possible care for their patients. They do so because they understand that everyone deserves to be well.
Communicating with patients, families and caregivers
Nurses are the mediators of the healthcare profession. They are liaisons who work toward their patient’s continued and deepening understanding of their own bodies. Nurses interact directly with patients and their families, explaining medical jargon, complicated diagnoses, as well as ongoing treatments so that patients will be able to advocate for their health both in and out of the examination room.
Nurses at Brooks Rehabilitation, for example, practice Patient-Centered Care. This model of caregiving allows for lasting bonds between patients, their families and nursing staff over the course of the healing process. Nurses provide support and compassion in order to ensure their patients always feel like a person; a human being experiencing temporary “dis-ease” rather than a number or a pay-check.
Administering medications and treatments
When you visit a doctor’s office or ER, it is the nurse who actually administers medicine. Nurses are the hands that treat the hurt, the one who tells you “this may sting a bit” or “you’ll feel cold in three, two, one.” Theirs is the presence you most remember when recounting your medical experience. Nurses are the faces of the healing process. They take your vitals, monitor changes, and theirs are the gloved hands that prick your finger, warm your blankets, and take your temperature.
Depending on their qualifications and their specific role, an RN may engage in any number of treatment practices, ranging from taking and recording patient vitals to performing wound care. Qualified Nurses manage catheters, stitch wounds and assist doctors in surgery. They also conduct follow-up visits with patients to ensure a steady and optimal recovery.
Performing patient evaluations
Nurses listen well, in order to respond to a patient’s needs. Rather than react out of haste, a good nurse understands that everyone is different and that each patient deserves a personalized interpretation of care. Treating people with kindness, and demonstrating real empathy, encourages a sense of trust between staff, patients, and their families. Nurses utilize this quality of care to help patients feel supported and knowledgeable as they embark, well equipped, along the journey of their own continued care.
Nurses are the scribes of the doctor’s office, collecting relevant information, and collaborating with doctors so that they can meet patient needs and treat afflictions. Nurses are keen observers; they identify potential issues that may range from mental health crises to signs of domestic violence. Nurses also perform physical exams, gathering information on the health and medical history of a patient to ensure their continued health, even after they are discharged from the facility.
Nurses ask the human questions; “How are you feeling? Where does it hurt? What do you need?” The best of the best understand that the basic human needs of a patient are integral to the overall healing process. A body in distress cannot properly heal. RNs order, perform, and evaluate diagnostic tests, adjusting the treatment plan according to the patient’s response to treatments.
Playing the role of caregiver for hospitalized patients
Excellent nurses understand that direct interaction is vital to patient-centered care. We assist our patients with the human needs that are essential to healing. This can vary widely from providing warm blankets, ordering food, escorting folks back and forth to the restroom, brushing teeth or hair, shaving and grooming, changing linens, and cleaning rooms. Nurses understand that we all need help sometimes. The rehabilitation process requires patience and compassion so that the body can remember how to heal itself. A body will always have trouble returning to wellness if the patient is not comfortable, well assured, and capable of deep rest.
The difference between a good nurse and a great one is the ability to assess a need, often before the patient permits themselves to ask. Nurses work with the medical staff to attend to patient needs both day and night. Patients may need assistance with anything from getting a drink of water, to adjusting pain medication. Whatever the need may be, nurses are always available to help patients find their comfort and retain their dignity.
Apply to be a Nurse at Brooks today!
Brooks Rehabilitation is driven by passion and guided by deeply held values that permeate every interaction between staff and patient. We understand the human quality of our patients and assert that compassion is integral to healing and care. Brooks is an organization with servant leaders at the helm; a place where every person can make a difference. We are a team of caregivers who come together for a united mission: to change lives.
Brooks Rehabilitation empowers people to achieve their highest level of recovery and participation in life through excellence in care. If you are someone who values people, who is innovative, service oriented, and committed to continuous learning, you will be a perfect fit for our nursing team. Learn more about nursing career opportunities at Brooks Rehabilitation and apply for one of our exciting team positions today.