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Career Story: Registered Nurse In Surgery Department Of A Hospital

Registered Nurse In Surgery Department Of A Hospital

Job Title: Registered Nurse

Education: Fresno City College •• B.S.N in Nursing, California State University in Fresno

Previous Experience: I worked 15 years as a pattern maker for metals manufacturer, doing industrial engineering work. I wanted something different (better working conditions - air conditioning, more money, etc...)

I did a work-study program before graduating through a program open to outstanding college nursing students who have completed their junior year. I developed competency in clinical nursing by working at a health care facility.

Job Tasks: I work in a hospital setting. It is indoors in a clean and air conditioned environment. We have eight hour shift rotations with a half hour for lunch.

I am on my feet most of the day. My job requires patient care in the medical surgery division. I am the charge nurse.

As most nurses do, I provide patient care that maximizes self-care and independent functioning, facilitate positive adaptation to changes in health status, promote health or slows health deterioration, and support death with dignity and comfort. Nurses are highly valued members of the health care team.

I work with doctors in the treatment of patients in my division. I am responsible for the assessment of patients (noting vitals and reporting any changes), carefully administering medications (I always triple check), patient teaching such as answering questions the patient and/or family may have about the condition (disease process, how to self care, etc).

I am responsible for up to nine patients during a shift. I am required to catch any errors and report any potential problems.

We are a teaching hospital, therefore at times I will have a student nurse to teach and "help me" but ultimately the patient is my responsibility and we are working under my registered nurse license.

There is no traveling required with my job. I work weekends and holidays. I self-schedule. I get 26 paid vacation days, 13 paid sick days, federal holiday pay, night and weekend pay differential, retirement and health benefits. Overall an excellent compensation package deal.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: My days vary, with different patients to take care of and need to deal with thier families as well. I'm on my feet and always have something to do (paperwork, attend to patients, keep up with new medications). The day shift is very busy, evening is a bit more relaxed as the patients go to sleep, while night shift is mostly all paperwork and in the early morning it picks up as they awake. Nurses need to be organized, and able to think. The pay is good and benefits are great.

Job Tips:
1. Knowing and understanding your pathophysiology is very helpful.

2. Do not be afraid to ask any questions if you do not know.

3. Be prepared to accept constructive critism it is only to help you ultimately become more independent.

4. It is important to be organized.

5. Don't gossip - it is very annoying.

Additional Thoughts: Great job, as flexible as you need, clean environment, and you can work independently in a part of the health system.

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