Real Nurses, Real Answers
What are the biggest myths about nursing?
That it's all bedpans and sponge baths and nothing else!
The older myths about nursing are quickly being replaced, especially with the current TV programming this season. Polls show that nursing is one of the most highly trusted professions. Media are finally acknowledging the major role nurses have in patient care.
So, what does your job entail?
I act as a primary nurse for several critically ill patients in an ICU. Aside from the obvious medication administration, bedpan duty, and giving bed baths (ha!), RNs are the primary advocate for the patients. We make sure that whatever we or anyone else on the healthcare team (including family members) do, it is all in the patient's best interest. Most teaching hospitals also require RNs to attend doctor rounds once or twice a day to make sure everyone is on the same page. There is also a lot of patient education involved for both the patients and their family members.
I'm a nurse in a burn center, where we also utilize a team approach to patient care. That means I work alongside doctors, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, social workers, and dieticians, in order to provide a variety of services that address all the needs of a patient. Each team member is integral in making sure the patient receives the best care.
What are some of the challenges you face on the job?
Death and dying are difficult challenges for all nurses. We hope for the best but not all patients will survive their injuries. Providing comfort to family members of dying patients, while your own heart is breaking, is one of the toughest jobs of the burn nurse.