A Day in the Life of a Nurse
All too often, nurses in hospitals are overworked, understaffed, and severely underappreciated. Nurses have one of the hardest jobs in the healthcare industry being the main care provider for patients, getting test results, and helping the doctors with anything they may need. Recently, I sat down with a nurse to talk about a normal day for her at work. Names have been removed to protect the privacy of the interviewee.
Q: How many patients do you typically see in a day?
A: For my unit, the brain rescue unit, I am only able to have four patients assigned to me. It’s important to keep a strict nurse to patient ratio so that you’re able to give as much time to each patient to provide adequate and safe patient care. Each unit is supposed to have a nurse to patient ratio, where nurses are only able to have a specific maximum number of patients. This is to prevent medication errors, patient negligence, and nurse burnout. Sometimes this can be hard due to call outs, making for those days to be busier and more stressful for the nurse.
Q: How much time during the day do you have to take a breath and slow down?
A: Sometimes it’s more than others, but on super busy days, there seems like there isn’t time to slow down and take a breath. However, it is important to make sure to go to the bathroom, eat snacks, and stay hydrated throughout the shift. Sometimes I’m unable to take a full one-hour lunch break because I have so many obligations for my patients this day.
Q: From your experience, would you say patients are satisfied with the care they are given?
A: Generally, patients are satisfied with the care that is being provided to them. However, there are definitely days where we are understaffed, or the unit is full to capacity and there is more running around, therefore less time to talk with and build relationships with your patients. It’s important that nurses prioritize which patients need to be seen more often than others, depending on their diagnosis and what condition they are in.
Q: What is the most frustrating part of being a nurse?
A: When patients are frustrated with not receiving results from MRIs/X Rays/ CT scans, etc... These results are not read by or interpreted by nurses since it is out of our scope of practice, but some patients do not seem to understand this. Furthermore, patients do not understand that there are many things we cannot do for them unless given an order by their doctor/health care provider, making them become frustrated with us. This is understandable, however, since nurses spend the most time with patients and provide the majority of their care.
Hospi-Call is working hard to build solutions to these everyday problems nurses all over the world face. From understaffing to building relationships with patients, Hospi-Call is helping bring healthcare into the future through custom apps to increase nurse and hospital efficiency, and improve patient satisfaction.