Are you thinking about a career in the medical profession? Are you wondering what it is like being a registered nurse? Here’s a brief overview of a day in the life of an RN.
In hospital settings, most nurses work twelve-hour shifts from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. or 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. Of course, if you work in a clinic, doctor’s office, or operating room, your schedule will look different. But to simplify, let’s examine a routine hospital day shift.
7 a.m. – Starting Your Day
As you check-in, you’ll meet with the nurses from the previous shift for a quick update. Next, be ready to log on to a computer to look at your patients’ files. You will review doctor’s orders, blood work, test results, and morning medications. Use this information to plan out your day.
8 a.m. to 10 a.m. – Morning Rounds
Then, you’re off for your morning rounds. You will meet your patients, assess their conditions, take vital signs, prepare them for breakfast, give medications, and update charts. Also, you may need to call doctors with updates, follow new orders, and assist with ADLs or activities of daily living such as showering or linen changes.
11 a.m. to 1 p.m. – Lunch Time
Lunch is another busy time. You’ll get patients ready for their mid-day meal and, once again, give medications and update charts. Since many doctors hand out discharge orders during morning rounds, you will need to file the necessary paperwork and educate patients who are getting ready to go home. Taking care of yourself is important, too, so try to find thirty minutes or so to grab lunch and a break.
2 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Afternoon Rounds
During the second half of your day, you usually end up managing both discharges and admissions. As patients leave, new patients come in. Once again, you will be giving medications, following new orders, and filling out charts.
5 p.m. to 6 p.m. – Dinner Time
As your shift begins to wind down, you’ll want to catch up on anything you didn’t complete earlier in the day. Plus, this is dinner hour. So as with breakfast and lunch, you will prepare patients to eat and give any necessary medications.
7 p.m. – Finishing Up
Before you leave, you will check in with the nurses on the next shift. Let them know how your day went. And, give them any information they may need to know about specific patients.
Other Useful Tips
- As experienced nurses will tell you, there’s no such thing as a typical day. Expect delays, interruptions, and emergencies.
- Nursing isn’t only about following doctors’ orders. You’ll also need to assess situations, ask questions, use critical thinking skills, plan, implement, and prioritize.
- A twelve-hour shift can be physically exhausting, mentally draining, and incredibly rewarding.
Are You Interested in Finding Out What’s It Like Being a Registered Nurse?
Aventure Staffing is looking to place talented CNAs, LPNs, and RNs in Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and South Dakota. Our recruiters can help you gain the experience you need and find a job you love. Contact us today to learn more!