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Career Story: RN In A Hospital Surgical Unit

RN In A Hospital Surgical Unit

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Education: AS in Nursing, Hibbing Community College

Previous Experience: I started work in nursing as an LPN, and did that for 19 years and then went back to school and became an RN. I've been in nursing for 28 years.

Job Tasks: I am employed at a hospital as an RN, part-time midnight shift. I work on a medical/surgical floor. We mainly take care of elderly and post surgical patients.

Working in a hospital setting, the RN has many responsibilities - supervising licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and nurse aides, passing out medication, consulting with doctors, assessing patients, administering blood products and inter venous medications, admitting patients to the hospital.

The RN is the one who is mainly responsible for the patients she oversees as well as the subordinate staff's patients. The RN also interacts with the patient's family members and handles their concerns. The nurse is the patient's advocate.

We are also required to have continued education credits, which are classes we take to further or update our education. These are mandatory in order to maintain our licensure. Every two years, you need 23 credits, and with the renewal of your license, there is an $80 fee.

The patients I take care of range in ages 18 to 100+.. As an RN I do total care, which means I am responsible for everything on that patient, from bedpan cares to life saving measures.

We often exposed to bacteria, infectious bugs, blood, body fluids, but we are also taught proper precautionary methods - using proper handwashing, gloves, masks/gowns for protection. In my 28 years as a nurse, I have never contracted any bad bugs!

Documentation is another task we have to do. We have computer charting that we document every thing we do on a patient, such as time of medication administration, doctors orders, and treatments done on patients. This documentation is then a legal document.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of being a nurse is seeing first hand where I have helped a patient and they have improved. Being in the hospital is sometimes scary for some, and I try harder to make them feel comfortable and give a little extra TLC.

The worst part is doctors who are rude to the nurses - they are usually rude when you call them at night about a patient.

Job Tips:
1. Before you get into nursing school, take all of the prerequisites before the actual nursing program such as English, sciences, anatomy/physiology etc., because the actual nursing program is intense and you need to concentrate solely on that.

2. If you don't have to work while going to school, don't - because you will need to concentrate on the nursing program. It's pretty intense and most need to study in order to maintain an 80% grade, which is only a C!

Additional Thoughts: Nursing is a very gratifying career, if you are caretaker type of person and want to help people, this is the job for you. The pay is good, but that is not the reason to be a nurse.

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