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Hospital Nurses

Hospital Nurses - Hospital nurses practice in four facilities in the Northwest Territories: Inuvik Regional Hospital, H.H. Williams Memorial Hospital in Hay River, Fort Smith Health Centre and Stanton Territorial Hospital in Yellowknife.

Hospital nurses develop nursing care plans, assess and record patient conditions and progress, provide treatment, develop discharge plans, and provide patient counseling and education. Nurses working in hospital administration are responsible for managing budgets, organizing work and staff schedules, monitoring quality assurance and coordinating nursing services with other departments.

Hospital nurses provide care to, and support the recovery of, patients suffering from acute and long-term illnesses and diseases or those requiring surgery. They focus on the needs of the patient rather than the illness or condition. They also promote good health and wellbeing through education. Nurses plan and carry out care within a multidisciplinary team but are the main point of contact for patients.

Typical Work Activities

Gaining the trust and confidence of each patient is an important role for nurses, as they have more continuity of patient care than other members of the medical team.

Patients may have chronic conditions, such as diabetes or heart/kidney problems, or serious acute conditions, such as heart failure, stroke, hepatitis or burns. They may be in hospital for surgery, admitted to accident and emergency with injuries, attending an outpatient clinic or undergoing tests and assessments.

Patient care is currently becoming more community- based, so there are increasing opportunities to work in the community. The aim is to avoid hospital admissions whenever possible by giving preventative treatment, and also to meet patients' needs in the comfort of their own home and avoid the unnecessary travel associated with hospital appointments. It is possible for a newly qualified nurse to work in the community, although many gain a year's hospital experience first.

In all contexts, nurses need to establish a good relationship with the patient and their relatives.

Day-to-day pressures and duties will depend on your role, but typical work activities can include:

  • Writing patient care plans.
  • Implementing plans through tasks such as preparing patients for operations, wound treatment and monitoring pulse, blood pressure and temperature.
  • Observing and recording the condition of patients.
  • Checking and administering drugs and injections.
  • Setting up drips and blood transfusions.
  • Assisting with tests and evaluations.
  • Carrying out routine investigations.
  • Responding quickly to emergencies.
  • Planning discharges from hospital and liaising with community nurses, GPs and social workers.
  • Communicating with and relieving the anxiety of patients and their relatives.
  • Advocating on behalf of patients.
  • Educating patients about their health.
  • Organizing staff and prioritizing busy workloads.
  • Mentoring student and junior nurses.
  • Maintaining patient records.
  • Making ethical decisions related to consent and confidentiality.