Meaning of Nurse - What does a nurse do, Definition and Concept

Definition of Nurse
Nurse is that person who is dedicated to the personal and intensive care of a patient, either in the hospital or health center or in his home. The nurse is a person who has followed the career of nursing , taught within the faculties of medicine and considered a university career in spite of being shorter and involving less knowledge than medicine.

There is no doubt that the nurse is very useful for the general health service. This is so because being the person who comes in more direct contact with the patient, his observations and permanent care of it allows him to give a complete and exhaustive report to the treating doctor. Nurses usually deal with issues related to patient comfort but also with their more direct data and analysis such as blood pressure, blood sugar, heart rate, and a general evolution of the person since the last time saw the doctor.

In the same way that there are branches of medicine, we also find branches of nursing that imply special care for each need. In this sense, a person who is hospitalized due to a trauma is not the same as someone who is admitted to a hospital due to a nervous breakdown or serious mental health problems. The dental assistants are understood, at the same time, as the nurses of the dental area.

Nurses are usually women, although the presence of men in this professional field has grown a lot in recent times. Nurses are usually represented dressed in white and with characteristic costumes that may have been established in other historical eras. Nowadays, nurses can distinguish themselves from other medical positions from the color of their gowns.

What does a nurse do?
Nurses assist doctors in the diagnosis and treatment of patients, performing tests, administering medications and monitoring their physical and mental condition. Those who work in the sectors of occupational health or health centers may also be obliged to participate in educational programs, provide advisory services, perform screening for diseases and be part of immunization programs.

The training of nurses will depend on their area of performance, be it surgery, pediatric care, intensive care, emergencies, obstetrics, geriatrics, occupational health, rehabilitation, oncology, among others. In this sense, these professionals usually work for hospitals, clinics and doctors' offices, asylums, care and rehabilitation centers, community entities or private companies.

Principal functions
Below, the most common functions of a Nurse:
Perform a preliminary examination to identify the needs, diseases and general condition of patients:
  • Monitor and record the temperature, blood pressure, respiratory rate, pulse and general health of the patient.
  • Conduct medical questionnaires, fill out checklists and write down symptoms and other relevant observations.
  • Perform electrocardiograms.
  • Perform sampling (urine, blood, etc.)
Provide assistance to doctors in the performance of evaluations, surgeries and other procedures, in order to create a safe and cooperative environment.

Providing adequate and profitable care to patients, paying attention to their comfort and safety:
  • Administer prescribed medication and treatments orally or intravenously.
  • Place bandages and dressings.
  • Operate and monitor medical equipment.
Maintain detailed and accurate records of patients:
  • Monitor, evaluate, document and report symptoms and any changes in the patient's condition.
  • Promote preventive health measures and do the necessary follow-up to patients.
Perform quality control of equipment, supplies and procedures:
  • Ensure that all equipment is calibrated and clean.
  • Help in the organization and disassembly of equipment and supplies.
  • Comply at all times with safety standards, taking measures to prevent infection and contamination.

Daily tasks
  • Perform a preliminary examination of the patient, in order to identify their general condition.
  • Provide assistance to doctors when performing exams, surgeries and other medical procedures.
  • Administer prescribed medication and treatments orally or intravenously.
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of patients' medical records, follow up and report any changes in their condition.
  • Promote preventive health measures to patients and relatives.
  • Operate, monitor and conserve medical equipment.