A nurse is a professional who is focused on health-related issues and views man as a whole being. The most important tool in providing nursing care is through the utilization of the nursing process. In order to be a registered nurse, a student nurse must be able to acquaint himself with the various roles and functions of a nurse. Years of academic training and clinical exposure must be needed in order to be accustomed to the stated roles below.
Roles and Functions of a Nurse
1. Care Provider – As a nurse, he or she is responsible for rendering services wherein the patient or client can feel that his or her needs are being met. The use of the term “care” means that the nurse is concerned about the welfare of the patient. She views the patient as a person who needs not only physical care as well as other aspects of being a person such as emotional needs, psychological needs, spiritual needs, and biological needs.
2. Communicator – A nurse is actually an agent of communication. Communication is very important in the field of nursing as this is the means of giving and receiving information. Therapeutic communication is being studied by nurses in order to give better nursing care. As a communicator, she must be a good listener so that she can address the needs of the client or patient in various health care personnel. She is obviously the one who gives bedside care, therefore she is also the first hand to get updates and progress of the patient’s condition. It is her task to give this information to other medical personnel.
3. Teacher – A nurse is also expected to be a teacher in her daily activities. Giving nursing care is geared towards better health practices and this can be addressed through teaching the proper ways and health habits. Aside from that, the nurse is not only concerned in teaching the patient but also the significant others who will be responsible for caring for the patient when discharged from the health institution. Health teachings were intended to promote health and maintain the healthy set-up thus preventing the incidence of hospital admissions.
4. Counselor – Being a counselor means that the nurse helps the client to develop coping mechanisms that are healthy enough. Since each client faces different degrees of stress, the nurse must be able to facilitate the recognition of the patient to cope with the challenge of certain alterations in the daily living brought about by health-related problems. The role encompasses emotional, intellectual, and psychological support.
5. Change Agent – The nurse catalyzes the change that is needed for the patient’s improvement. Using the nursing process, the nurse will identify first the problem areas and develop a plan of action in order for the patient to change his mind and eventually change his behavior. Being a change agent means that the nurse will help the patient to get out of the usual scenario, identify the need for the change and implement the changes, and getting accustomed to these changes.
6. Client Advocate –As a client advocate, the nurse represents the patient when the patient is not able to represent himself. In order to be a client advocate, listening, and placing yourself in the shoes of the patient will enable you to know what it feels like and react with the situation. The next thing is to plan for ways to voice out the part of the patient so that the health care team will be able to know how to deal with the case of the patient.
7. Leader – As a nurse, he or she must be able to be an inch or a foot farther than other personnel. It means that he or she must have a wider view of the situation and create goals and objectives that were attainable for the group. Leading as a nurse means that you can influence others to be together in the same goal or objective.
8. Manager – A nurse can be both a leader and a manager, however, there are differences between these two terms. Although used interchangeably, it really means a lot different. Being a manager means that you have the responsibility to give directions, organize, plan, and implements things out. A nurse manager has been given the power to facilitate the unit or case.
- Role Model – A nurse must also be able to be true with what he or she is saying. The cliché “walk the talk” defines this role. A nurse must be able to put into practice the proper ways that he or she has been teaching so that he or she can teach people by example.
- Researcher – The work of a nurse involves changes in nursing care. This change can only be known for using research. Scientifically, a nurse can function as a researcher in order to improve their practice as well as give patient outcomes a better picture.
In the student nurse’s perspective, this might be very confusing and tasking, but rest assured when you become a registered nurse, you will know how to joggle these responsibilities and give quality nursing care to each client.