Job Title: Nurse
Type of Company: I work for a small acute rehabilitation hospital on the brain injury unit. We provide 24-hour nursing care and therapy for patients with traumatic brain injuries, strokes, brain tumors, etc.
Education: ASN, Nursing, Lawrence Memorial/Regis College (Medford, MA) BS, Computer Science, North Adams State College (N. Adams, MA)
Previous Experience: i worked as a nursing assistant at Tufts-New England Medical Center.
Job Tasks: I work the night shift on a brain injury unit in an acute care rehabilitation hospital. The average length of stay is about three weeks. The patients get several hours of therapy during the day including physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech services.
My job is to provide nursing care to these patients at night. My responsibilities include administering medications, doing dressing changes, monitoring vital signs, assisting with personal hygiene, documenting patient progress, communicating with the doctors, delegating various responsibilities to nursing assistants, sending specimens to the lab for analysis, drawing blood and promoting patient safety. I sometimes perform the duties of charge nurse, which include making out the unit assignments, overseeing the entire unit, taking telephone orders from the doctors and making sure that all patients are accounted for and safe in their rooms. Safety is a big concern on this unit because these patients have head injuries and they may not understand safety.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is knowing that I improved someone's health and well-being. It makes me feel good to know that when I leave my job in the morning I have made an impact on someone else. I know that I provided the best care possible for my patients and they, in turn, will benefit from that care. The worst part of the job is that sometimes things can get very busy and I cannot sit and discuss patients' concerns with them as much as I would like to.
Job Tips: I would advise anyone interested in nursing to get a job as a nursing assistant before or during school. It helps you in your classes, puts you in the hospital environment and makes you comfortable providing patient care. It also gives you an idea of how hard nursing assistants work so when you do become a nurse, it will provide some insight when delegating tasks to nursing assistants. This is the best piece of advice that I was given as a nursing student.
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