Job Title: Registered Nurse
Type of Company: Non-profit hospital, founding member of one of the largest health care systems in the country.
Education: Bunker Hill Community College (Boston, MA) Salem State College (Salem, MA)
Previous Experience: I worked in a law office and decided to pursue my dream of becoming a nurse and furthering my career. I did not see a future for myself working on personal injury claims.
Job Tasks: I am a staff nurse in a busy neuroscience unit in a major Boston teaching hospital. I work permanent nights and serve as a charge nurse on a rotating basis. I care for a wide variety of patients undergoing neurology or neurosurgery work-ups, as well as patients from other units when they have to be boarded on our floor: an orthopedic surgery patient recovering from a hip or knee replacement, or a patient undergoing a work-up for a cardiac problem or a patient with a pulmonary problem.
I typically care for 3-5 patients on my shift, which are 12 hours long, 7PM-7AM. I take vital signs, do a complete patient assessment, including neurological, cardiac, pulmonary, etc. I dispense medications, assist my patients to perform their activities of daily living, including toileting, mouth and skin care, chest physiotherapy, walking around, etc.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is that I'm truly autonomous. Over the years, I've developed assessment skills and I am confident in my patients' condition. I collaborate with the doctors in the unit to ensure the best patient outcome. I also make a decent living, with the night and weekend differential. There are fewer people around at night and that makes for a kinder, gentler workplace.
The worst part of the job is always being tired and knowing that I will probably never truly catch up on my sleep.
Job Tips: Work hard, study hard, try working in different areas of nursing. Pursue the highest degree that you want and know that you truly make a difference.
Always remember that the person you are caring for is somebody's child or a parent, and you are their advocate while they are under your care. It is your responsibility to give 100% when you are caring for them.
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