More than Just Chart Carriers: What Nurses Really Do
There is a stereotype out there that a nurse is just a chart-carrying person in the hospital wearing white who runs to you when you press “the buzzer.” This could not be any further from the truth. Nurses are extremely vital to the day-to-day runnings of not only the facilities they work in, but also the communities they work in.
There is much more to nursing than just answering “the buzzer.” To prove this, we’ve put together a list of important things nurses do.
Nurses protect and save lives
The number one thing nurses do is protect and save lives. You are working to help people and make sure they are healthy enough to live their lives.
Kathy from The Nursing Site reminds us that the small tasks you do have a large impact on lives. “The 85 year old woman is ever so grateful that you helped her with the bedpan and calls you her angel because you saved her from wetting the bed which is the worst humiliation she could imagine. The truth is, you saved her from a devastating fall or injury because she’s not ready to ambulate to the bathroom or even transfer to a commode.”1
Tasks that seem simple to you, such as placing an IV or emptying a bedpan, truly have a large and important impact on those you are treating.
Nurses build meaningful relationships
While you are working to protect and save lives, you are building lasting, meaningful relationships in the process. As a nurse, you build relationships with coworkers, patients and families.
Suzanne from MedScape says, “even the most emotional work nurses do is a form of rescue. When nurses construct a relationship with patients or their families, they are rescuing patients from social isolation, terror, or the stigma of illness or helping family members cope with their loved ones’ illnesses.”2
These relationships you are building are extremely important to the mental well-being of your patients and their families. Such meaningful relationships provide them the comfort they need to get through a difficult time.
Nurses keep things running smoothly
We cannot stress this enough: nurses are vital to the facilities they work in (mostly because without them, mass chaos would ensue). Nurses are the people who make sure things run smoothly in the places they work.
According to Meaghan from Scrubbed In, “it’s a double-edged sword. Because when things in healthcare go really well, there’s usually a mastermind nurse behind it. That’s when a nurse has done an exceptional job, except most people don’t even notice.”3
Even if that stereotype of a chart-carrying nurse does exist, we know you do much more than that. Nurses are miracle-workers who dedicate their lives to saving the lives of others. Thank you nurses for all you do!
What other extremely important things do nurses do? Tell us in the comments below!