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Adult nurse: Job description

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Adult nurses care for adult patients who are suffering from a variety of health conditions, ranging from minor injuries and ailments, to acute and long-term illnesses and diseases.

They support recovery by using care plans, carrying out care procedures and assessments, and evaluating and focusing on the needs of the patient rather than the illness or condition.

They also promote good health and well-being through education and clinics on certain topics such as diabetes, weight loss and quitting smoking.

Nurses usually work within a multidisciplinary team but are the main point of contact for patients, often providing the most continuity of care. They will have contact with the patients' families, particularly in cases of chronic illness where the patient may be returning regularly for treatment.

Adult nurses work mainly in hospitals and the community, attached to a health centre or general practice and in residential homes, specialist units, schools and hospices. Many nurses work with patients in their own homes.

Typical work activities

Gaining the trust and confidence of each patient is an important aspect of the job for nurses and their main aim is to improve the patients' quality of life.

Exact duties may vary depending on your role but will usually include:

  • writing patient care plans;
  • implementing plans through tasks such as preparing patients for operations, wound treatment and monitoring pulse, blood pressure and temperature;
  • observing and recording the condition of patients;
  • checking and administering drugs and injections;
  • setting up drips and blood transfusions;
  • assisting with tests and evaluations;
  • carrying out routine investigations;
  • responding quickly to emergencies;
  • planning discharges from hospital and liaising with GPs and social workers;
  • communicating with and relieving the anxiety of patients and their relatives;
  • advocating on behalf of patients;
  • educating patients about their health;
  • organising staff and prioritising busy workloads;
  • mentoring student and junior nurses;
  • maintaining patient records;
  • making ethical decisions related to consent and confidentiality.
 
 
AGCAS
Written by AGCAS editors
Date: 
May 2015
 

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