A Day in the Life of a Nurse: Creating a Nursing Care Plan

Nurses are assigned jobs that tackle any issues in patient care, ranging from surgery assistance to basic health care, to managing and maintaining charts and lab work.  Despite all the responsibilities they are saddled with, they still must make time to develop their nursing care plans for many of their regular patients, especially in hospital settings.  Nursing care plans serve a vital function in most hospitals and several clinics because they indicate to other nurses and doctors what type of diet patients are on, as well as any specific medical needs that the patient requires.  Without such communication to night nurses or doctors, patients run the risk of being given medicine or food they are allergic to, or even missing a meal.  

Nursing care plans are relatively easy to create once you know the background of the patient.  Spending some time with the patient additionally helps add to the nursing care plan; for example, if your patient is a particularly finicky eater, you can include this in the plan, or even post daily updates on what they have eaten during the day.  This is especially important for doctors to see what type of appetite the patient has had, or whether they will be ready for surgery after the meal they recently had.  This type of communication is essential in ensuring the continuation of patient care as well as guaranteeing that the hospital system continues to run smoothly.

With more records kept online at hospitals or through computer databases, many nurse communications such as the nursing care plan remain part of the few that are still hand-delivered, rather than uploaded onto computers. This is a more personal form of communication and helps nurses understand the patient care that each patient has received over the course of the day (or night).  While computers continue to overtake medical records, this type of communication will more than likely remain the way it is, and indicate the stationary quality of such plans.  Even if the nursing care plans are typed out, they remain in a form that is easily accessible to the next nurse or doctor on duty and are relatively easy to change.  

Nursing is about more than just taking a patient’s weight and blood pressure, but is about administering high quality patient care and ensuring your patient is well-taken care of even after your shift ends.