Job Title: Registered Nurse
Type of Company: I work for a major teaching hospital in Hartford, CT.
Education: diploma, Hartford Hospital School of Nursing •• BS, Nursing, St. Joseph's College (Hartford, CT)
Previous Experience: I worked as a staff nurse on the general surgery floor for four years, then worked in a transplant unit for fives before transferring to an open heart step down unit for 11 years. I currently work in an ambulatory surgery unit recovery room.
Job Tasks: As a nurse in an ambulatory surgery center, I provide care to both before and after surgery. Once the patient arrives in the center, I prepare him for surgery, taking vital signs, doing what's known as a "pre-op assessment," and generally easing his anxieties. I also start an IV and administer any medications that are needed for the operation.
After the procedure is over, the patient is brought into the recovery room by the anesthesiologist and I receive the patient and get a detailed report from the doctor. During the patient's recovery, I monitor his vital signs, including respiration and oxygen level. Once he's come to, the patient may get some light refreshment, like crackers and Ginger Ale. Assessment of the patient's pain level is a priority and pain medicine is administered as needed. Prior to the patient's leaving the unit for home, complete discharge instructions, specific to the patient's surgery, are reviewed with the patient and family member. When ready, the patient is assisted in dressing and discharged to home.
The average stay in the recovery room is about one to two hours and I am responsible for 1-3 patients at a time.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: On a scale of 1-10 I would rate my job a 10. I love being a nurse and working at patients' bedsides. It is important to me to be a caregiver and comforting to a patient's needs. My current position in ambulatory surgery allows me flexibility in my roles. Some days I can be responsible in the pre-op area getting patients ready for surgery, and then another day I can be responsible for the recovery portion of the patient's care. I also love that every day is different and brings on new challenges.
Job Tips: Nursing students today, do not get as much clinical experience as they did in previous years. So take every opportunity you can to volunteer or work as an aide during summers and school vacations, in order to bolster your experience.
Be sure to get experience in many different aspects of the nursing field while you are in school.
Most nursing jobs require you to work nights, weekends and holidays. Accept this as a part of the profession and try to see the positive side. There really is one, believe me.
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