The general responsibilities of a bedside nurse include various duties that deliver direct and immediate care to whichever patient the nurse is currently assigned to. Some of the duties a bedside nurse may be accountable for include:
- Assessing the patient’s general health status
- Identifying nursing needs of the patient
- Assisting the patient with moving and maintaining proper body alignment
- Helping the patient use appropriate body mechanics
- Taking vital signs
- Accurately recording vital signs
- Observing and responding to the patient’s emotional and spiritual needs
- Preparing the patient for diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Assisting physicians with diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Observing signs and symptoms a patient is experiencing
- Starting corrective action when needed, and recording information into the patient’s chart
- Acting as a connection between the patient and other hospital personnel
- Interpreting information to the patient and his/her family in order to promote successful therapy and rehabilitation
Bedside nursing is one of the most basic forms of nursing, but it is also one of the most important forms, too. These nurses are ensuring that a patient’s basic needs are being tended to so that the patient can recover as much as possible without further deterioration. Sometimes, however, a patient’s condition will inevitably get worse. Therefore, it is part of the bedside nurse’s responsibility to make sure that the patient’s emotional needs are met so that they can experience as much care and comfort that they deserve.
Additionally, bedside nurses are oftentimes either recruited to or volunteered for many other health-related roles because of their expansive hands-on experience with patients. Some of these roles include being an assistant to physicians in the OR or in private practice, being a procedural specialist, assisting with public health screenings and education, and getting involved in case management. This simply goes to show how many potential opportunities a bedside nurse can be offered.