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Clinical Practice Guidelines for Registered Nurses

Career News April 10, 2013

As a registered nurse, you have a tremendous responsibility ahead of you. You will often be acting as an intermediary between patients and doctors, and this will test your resolve, your heart, and your mind. You will be expected to act as a friend and protector of patients, even while you will be following orders from a doctor. Do not feel distressed. Just remember these important guidelines.

Caring About the Patient

You must assess a patient’s health status, and always have the desire to make sure of your suspicions, while entertaining possibilities. Your responsibility is to the patient. You must monitor the patient’s health and condition, and notify the doctor of any changes you observe. You will also be in charge of monitoring a patient’s overall progress under a doctor’s assigned plan. In a hospital environment, you must always be available just in case a patient’s condition changes. You will have to call in a doctor immediately, should a patient’s health take a dramatic turn for the worse.

Recording All Medical Information

You must also record medical data on each patient. It is a nurse’s job to record all changes in a patient’s progress and continually update on his or her status. Whether it is medication, or another part of treatment, everything must be documented so that a doctor will have a clear view of the full situation. Even if a doctor has never seen the patient before, he or she should be able to read the entire case and get a full view of the risks and treatment options. The physician must be aware of medication interaction, as well as how well or how slowly the patient is responding to treatment. Even dieting and waste must be monitored in detail to accurately describe a patient’s status.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of Treatment

Nurses must report on how a person is responding to medication, not merely in reaction, but in progress. This means that the nurse must know of the patient’s treatment plan, know of the proper dosage, and know of the possible side effects. In addition, he or she must keep inventory of all medical supplies and products just in case there is a discrepancy.

Creating a Safe Place

Registered nurses must monitor the safety of the environment. They are typically in charge of monitoring a certain unit within the facility, and this means taking care of the surroundings. For instance, containing contamination risks, cleaning up spills, reporting and responding to potential biohazards, and monitoring patients in the event of violent behavior. They have an obligation to the staff and to the patients.

Educating the Patient

Of course, if a patient is in the dark about what is happening, he or she cannot expect to make informed decisions or accept a doctor’s advice. You must educate this person before, during and after procedures are performed. You must teach the patient how to understand treatment, how to avoid re-injury, and how to prevent future complications or recurring pains.

Oftentimes, a busy doctor is incapable of explaining every last detail to a patient, and this is where you come in. You communicate instructions to the patient, to the caregiver, and to the staff. With your advice and dedication, recovery will be short and painless.

Remember these principles as you begin a prosperous career.

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  • **excludes licensure, certification, and some doctoral programs
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