A Day In The Life Of A Registered Nurse
Ask any Registered Nurse, and he or she will likely be quite satisfied with their jobs. Busy and exhausted, yes, but satisfied with a hard day of work too. Here’s a look at an RN’s day at work, who works as a generalist at a public hospital, and comes across many different patients during the day.
7:00 am: The RN starts his day gathering a list of patients he has for the day, as well as checking their information and the treatment plans prescribed by the doctors.
7:30 am: He starts off with a call on the first patient for the day. The patient has been complaining of a lot of pain in her back. She’s a post-surgery patient so he consults with the surgeon to see if she needs to be administered some extra painkillers via IV. He carries out the doctor’s orders and offers advice and emotional support to the patient.
8:00 am: The RN moves on to the second patient, who is being discharged today. He checks with the doctor to see if the patient’s discharge papers have been approved and signed, and goes on to explain to him how to administer medications at home, and what precautions to take. The pager beeps with a message asking him to report to the emergency room.
8:30 am: The RN rushes to the emergency room where a patient has just reported with a cardiac problem. The doctor needs some additional nurses to help with a procedure, and the RN proceeds to follow orders until the patient’s condition is relatively stable.
9:30 am: He’s late for the third patient who had to be ushered in after an abdominal surgery. However, he had informed a nursing assistant of the emergency, and things had been taken care of. He rushes to patient number 3 and checks her vitals and makes necessary records. He checks if the proper medications are being administered as per the doctor’s orders, and speaks to the patient’s husband who has been worried about post-operative recovery and care.
10:15 am: The RN makes a quick visit to the first patient to see how she’s doing after the painkillers. He’s relieved to find that she’s been doing better than before.
10: 30 am: There’s a surgery scheduled for 11:00 am. He proceeds to the change into his scrubs for the operation room and checks with the doctor to take relevant orders before the surgery.
10:45 am: The RN reports in the OR for the surgery where he is introduced to the entire team and the patient. The surgery begins, which is a cardiac procedure, and the nurse helps the doctors with the required instruments and medications required during the operation.
12:00 pm: The surgery has been successful and the patient is ushered in the recovery room. The RN proceeds to inform the patient’s family about the successful surgery and about when and what to expect post-surgery.
12:45 pm: It’s time for lunch, but the RN has to check up on the abdominal surgery patient. Her antibiotics dosage has to be checked, and all the vitals have to be noted again to make sure everything is clear. The registered nurse does the needful and upon being assured that the patient was doing ok, he goes back to the first patient who has been complaining of pain again.
1:15 pm: Patient 1’s back pain is not getting better. The RN calls her consulting doctor, who prescribes a physiotherapy treatment. The nurse calls the hospital’s in-house physiotherapist and requests for a consultation for the patient. The physiotherapist asks her if meeting the patient after half an hour would be ok. After checking with her doctor, they decide to meet at the patient’s bed at 1:45 pm.
1:30 pm: Finally, he has time to rush through a sandwich to keep him going for the day.
1:45 pm: The RN introduces the physiotherapist to the patient, and helps her understand the physiotherapy exercises. It’s time to check on the post-surgery cardiac patient now.
2:15 pm: The cardiac patient is showing signs of recovering from anesthesia, and the RN checks her IV pain medications and notes down the vitals. He checks the blood pressure and feels it’s a little off the normal, and talks to the surgeon about his concern and takes relevant orders to change medicine dosage.
3:00 pm: It’s time to introduce another prescribed medication for the abdominal surgery patient, and he proceeds to her bed. The patient complains of pain in her belly, which the RN assures her is related to the surgery and will subside by tomorrow morning.
3:30 pm: The RN does a final round of all his patients for the day to make sure they were doing ok. He goes on to give instructions to the next RN on call, and calls it a day!