Nurses are respected and valued members of the medical community. They play a critical role in the health care field. Although the medical field is made up of many types of nurses, they are all exciting and rewarding careers. The following list outlines many types of nursing careers:
- Registered Nurse (RN): Registered Nurses work in almost all areas of the health care profession. They perform many tasks that include: administering treatments such as medications, performing certain medical procedures, monitoring vital signs, advising and supporting patients, educating patients about medical conditions, and keep families up-to-date on a patient’s status. Registered Nurses can specialize in certain medical areas
Certified Nurse Assistant (CNA): Certified Nurse Assistants are also known as nurses’ aides, patient care technicians, home health aides, and home health assistants. CNAs are employed in a number of health care fields. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, private homes, and adult living homes. CNAs perform a number of duties that include: monitoring health such as recording a patients temperature, pulse, and respiration, helping patients eat, bathe, and dress, helping patients walk, keeping patients rooms in order, providing nutritious meals, answering patients’ call bells, and making beds. They may also help patients to exam rooms and even assist with simple procedures. CNAs report to a Registered Nurse.
Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN): Although Licensed Practical Nurses have less training than Registered Nurses, they are employed in all areas of health care. They work in hospitals, nursing homes, and medical clinics. LPNs perform such duties as monitoring a patient’s overall condition, giving injections, recording vital signs, and applying dressings. They will also assist patients with personal hygiene and report any treatment reactions
Critical Care Nurse: A Critical Care Nurse works with seriously injured and ill patients in the hospital. This type of nurse works in the ICU (intensive care unit) or CCU (critical care unit). Their job is to care for patients who are being treated for serious and life-threatening illnesses.
Travel Nurse: A Travel Nurse is a nurse that travels to different areas and provides short term support when there is a nurse shortage. They will fill in when a full time nurse goes on maternity leave, during peak work times, if a nurse has a long term illness, or if a nurse is on an extended vacation. There assignments are short term but they are highly paid. An assignment usually runs for about 13 weeks. Travel Nurses often work in hospitals and medical clinics. Employers will provide many benefits such as free housing and health insurance.
Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVN): Theses nurses perform the same job function as licensed practical nurses. LVNs provide certain medical services such as giving enemas, treating bedsores, bandaging wounds, and recording vitals. They also assist patients with bathing and dressing.
Public Health Nurse (PHN): These nurses are registered nurses who have specialized in community health. They often go to community centers, homes, and schools where they assist individuals and families with health concerns. They work with community organizers regarding health related issues. They also perform the same duties as registered nurses.
Nurse Practitioner: A Nurse Practitioner is a registered nurse who has specialized training and education which allows them to carry out many tasks normally performed by a doctor. Such tasks include diagnosing and treating illnesses and injuries. Some states allow practical nurses to write prescriptions.
These are just a few of the more popular areas of nursing. Nurses are on the front lines of health care and are usually the first people patients meet when faced with a health issue. Nurses provide valuable support for patients and their families making them an indispensable part of the health care community.
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