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Challenging Roles Of Nurses. Kelsey Wilkerson. Jackson State Community College

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Challenging Roles of Nurses
Kelsey Wilkerson
Jackson State Community College

Challenging Roles of Nurses
“Constant attention by a good nurse may be just as important as a major operation by a surgeon.” Dag Hammarskjold sums up all of healthcare in this simple statement. The care given by a nurse can aid in healing, or cause major damage. In every different setting that we find nurses, the roles they fulfill are very demanding. While nursing care is the same in the basics, every department has different demands placed on nurses. We are going to look at the differences and similarities of the role nurses play in the emergency department and in the intensive care unit.
Nurses in the ICU and the ER perform some of the same skills.
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Such tasks include, administering medications, like Morphine, that may lower the respiratory drive of patients who are already struggling to breathe.
Nurses in the critical care setting will have a more complex set of skills than most nurses. These nurses are constantly dealing with ventilator systems, sensitive drains, and unstable patients. They administer highly potent drugs on a daily basis. Critical care nurses have to be quick in the event of an emergency, but also have to thoroughly think about what they are doing and effects the medications they are giving will have on their patients. Martin states that “Nurses must recognize that the overall goal of care (or treatment goal) is specifically related to a patient’s values and quality-of-life preferences and should not be confused with daily goals, care plans, and treatment tasks,” (Martin, 2010, p. 69). This is a hard line to ride in assuring individualized and holistic care to every patient.
The positions held by critical care nurses and emergency room nurses differ somewhat. While critical care nurses are mostly taking care of very ill patients, emergency room nurses encounter a variety of illnesses at different stages. ER nurses have the daunting responsibility to decide which patient is “most critical” and needs to be seen immediately, but also know that the other patients are sick and can’t wait all day and night just to be seen. These nurses know that saving lives really is part of their job. They
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