Nurses do many different things. The basic things that they do
is care for the sick. Most work in hospitals. They also help people
stay well when not sick. Most are women.
In the end of the 1700’s hospitals were dirty and pestilent places
where patients usually died.
In the 1800’s modern nursing began with the Nightingale Training School
In the 1900’s we needed many more nurses during the Spanish-American
war and the two World Wars.
Types of Nurses:
There are many different types of nurses. One type of nurse is an RN,
which stands for Registered Nurse. An RN works to promote health, prevent
disease, and help patients cope with illness. They are advocates and health
educators for patients, families, and communities. They take at least four
years of schooling. They also have at least one or two more years of schooling
than an LPN, which gives the RN’s more advantages than an LPN.
Another type of nurse is an LPN. An LPN stands for Licensed Practical
Nurse. A LPN on the job would do things like take your blood pressure,
make your bed for you or just come in about every half an hour to check
on you. So mainly an LPN is someone that assists and helps you (when in
Hospital nurses are the largest groups of nurses. Hospital nurses usually
work in one area of the hospital, like surgery, the emergency room, pediatrics,
or maternity. Some may work in one area, some may rotate. Most nurses are
part of a staff, while some supervise LPN’s or nurses aids.
Nursing home nurses work in nursing homes, taking care of the elderly.
They keep records, give medicine, start IV’s, write plans, and supervise
aides and helpers. Sometimes they help with rehabilitation.
“Head Nurses or nurse supervisors direct nursing activities.’’ They
make schedules, and assign duties to other nurses and aides. They also
may see that records are maintained and equipment and supplies are ordered.
Office nurses work in some kind of medical office that serves people
who are outpatients. They might work in a family doctor’s office, or clinic.
These nurses normally help take people’s temperature, give shots, take
blood pressure, and help with anything else the doctor needs.
Home health nurses help patients who are at home. Some home health nurses
perform specialized care and some do simple routine care. They might help
families learn how to take care of their family member. Sometimes people
are in need of long term care at home, and some times for a short time.
There are situations where people can call over the phone and talk to their
health care nurse, and even be monitored by the nurse from a distance.
Occupational health or industrial nurses provide nursing care at worksites
to employees, customers, and others with minor injuries and illness.
They provide emergency care, prepare accident reports, and arrange further
care if necessary. They also offer health counseling, assist with health
examinations, and assess work environments to identify potential health
or safety problems.
What They Do on the Job.
Nurses do many different things on the job. One thing a nurse would
do is monitor patients and in doing that they take your temperature, your
blood pressure, and your pulse. They talk to their patients. For
example if I were talking to you I would say “ How are you doing today?”
They also write records. They give medications. They do different
procedures such as putting on a cast, and sometimes they put in IV`s.
They usually work 40-50 hours a week.
Good and Bad Aspects
Some good aspects are nurses make good money. They also get to
help people and that makes them feel good to know that they played a part
in helping someone recover from an illness. Some bad aspects are
just having to see people and their families in sadness and illness. Hospital
nurse may have to work at night and sleep during the day. This is
hard if they have families at home.
You need many different types of abilities to become a nurse. You need
to know how to be patient and reassuring. For example some patients are
hard to understand and they might not understand you. You also need to
enjoy helping people. You should also like talking to and helping people
or patients feel comfortable and relaxed.
Education and Training
To become a nurse you need two years of college. For an RN you also
should take these classes, physics, biology, mathematics, chemistry, science
courses,and health. You also need a license.
Earnings and Outlook:
On average a nurse usually makes about $48,000 a year. When you
first become a nurse you make about $40,000a year and you will eventually
make up to about $57,500 a year. A home health nurse will probably
make about $46,000 a year. A hospital nurse will make about $49,000 a year.
An office nurse makes about $45,000 a year. Nursing home nurses will make
about $44,000 a year.
Who I Interviewed And
What I Learned
On December 20th I interviewed Trisha Reshell Swonson who is a nurse tech.
A nurse tech is a nurse who is training to be a R.N and this program is
only for nursing students who chose a 4-year college program.
Trisha’s mailing address is Trisha Swonson mail stop 805 3307 3rd AVE.
west Seattle, Washington 98119, and her E mail address is TWebber@ spu.edu.
She told me in order to prepare to become a nurse in the near future,
I should talk to other nurses and ask them all the questions I have, have
a strong desire, and like to care for and help people.
She also told me what she most enjoys about nursing: she loves to help
moms through labor, and being able to hold and interact with the babies.
I think that Trisha was a good person to interview because she was an
easy person to schedule a time with, and she knows a lot about training
and schooling. That was exactly the kind of information I needed.
The cool thing is that Trisha was also in SOAR several years ago and
for one of her projects she studied nurses!
Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational
Outlook Handbook,2002-03 Edition Registered Nurses on the Internet
at http://www.bls.go/ocos083.htm (visited November 25, 2003).
Cosgrove, Holli R. Encyclopedia of CAREERS and Vocational Guidance.
200 west Jackson street, suite 700 Chicago, Illinois 60606: Ferguson Publishing
Company 2000. 366-367
Detreiss, Emmi. “Nurse Practitioners “.Pamphlet of Nursing.Oct.2002
Maraldo, Pamela J. “Nursing”.Encarta Enclopedia Deluxe. 2001. CD-ROM.
Maraldo, Pamela J. “Nursing”.The World Book Enclopedia. 2002
Swonson, Trisha. Personal interview. December 20, 2003.
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