Taking blood, issuing IVs and general patient care are just a few of the responsibilities a nurse has to take care of. Essentially, it is the nurse who primarily deals with and handles the majority of the patient's needs. Due to the high level of accountability, there are stringent policies and procedures that must be followed to ensure the patient leaves the hospital happy and healthy.
Some of the most specific hospital policies and procedures have to do with the patient's admission to the facility. Though hospital procedures and policies will vary, many hospitals will require that all of the patient's health information must be input into the hospital's database within 24 hours of admission. This will include that patient's name, existing health issues, current health issues and the specific date and time the patient came into the facility.
In addition to the "checking-in" process, the nurse is also required to establish a plan for issuing assistance to the patient, often called a care plan. This will establish the present medical issues and the plan of attack to provide a remedy.
If the situation arises, nurses have to prepare for emergencies, and all hospitals will have policies and procedures laying out what should occur in such an event. For example, if a patient is bleeding excessively, also known as hemorrhaging, then the nurse should immediately report and refer to a medical doctor, as the nurse may not be equipped to rectify the problem.
This is also the case for patients with third-degree burns. In this situation, the nurse should refer to a medical doctor specialising in burn victims, as well as provide general first aid such as sterilising and dressing the wounds.
To provide effective service to patients on life support, nurses are often required to obtain and maintain proper cardiac life support certification.
As a nurse, it is your job to periodically check on the patient and provide ongoing care. To ensure this is not a subjective test, many hospitals have specific guidelines. For example, some hospitals require a nurse undergo a physical assessment of the patient's condition every eight hours, and vital signs should be checked every four hours unless otherwise stated. Any and all changes concerning the patient's condition must be taken, recorded and input into the hospital's chosen database.
In addition, if any medications are administered, an adequate record of the name, amount given and the date and time of issuance must be kept. This is all to ensure that the patient is effectively taken care of, as well as lessening the possibility of negligent liability and litigation brought against the hospital.
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