The Nursing Occupation, What to Expect

Those interested in the nursing occupation can expect to help assess a patient’s health, treat patients with medical conditions, and educate patients about health issues. Routine duties may include recording medical histories and symptoms, conducting diagnostic tests, administering treatment, and analyzing test results. Nurses consult with physicians about a patient’s health and assist them with patient care and treatment by administering medication, checking for interactions, observing and recording patient behavior, and managing intravenous lines for fluid medications or blood. Nurses also conduct duties that provide patient support during their treatment, including teaching patients how to manage their illnesses and providing guidance regarding medical decisions.

Those interested in the nursing occupation can expect a work environment that largely depends on either the facility or specialty they choose to be employed in. Most nurses are employed at healthcare facilities like hospitals, doctor’s offices, private practices, and health clinics, but facilities can vary according to the area of nursing they choose to work in. For example, nurses who specialize in home or public health may travel to different patients’ homes or community centers, while nurses who specialize in labor and delivery can work at birthing centers. While some nurses have set work hours, the majority of them work rotating shifts that take place during the day, nights, weekends, and holidays. No matter where they choose to work, nurses are usually always active, standing while taking down their patients medical histories, walking to each of their patient’s rooms, and bending over to administer treatments.

Those interested in the nursing occupation can expect to receive an education. Typically, registered nurses have completed a bachelor’s degree or an associate degree in nursing, or have graduated from a nursing program. An associate degree in nursing can be awarded through a junior or community college, and a diploma can be awarded by completing a nursing program through a hospital. While both of these methods are a shorter path to a nursing career, they can also be limited ones which do not allow for as many advancement opportunities. While it takes about four years to earn a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing through a college or university, those holding this type of degree will have better careers in the long run. These programs usually include more training in areas like communication and critical thinking, and also provide students more opportunities to have clinical experiences. Anyone who completes a nursing program has to pass the national licensing exam before they are qualified to practice nursing and obtain a position as an entry-level nurse.

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