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Registered nurse: What I do and how much I make

Video transcript

my name is Julia Walker I'm 27 years old I'm a registered nurse and I make around fifty six thousand dollars a year so I work in a hospital in a critical care unit critical care units are typically the most intensive care that a hospital will provide so I tend to care for the sickest patients that walk through the hospital doors so as an inpatient nurse I typically work about three shifts a week that's a total of twelve hour shifts which you never leave on time it's more like 13 14 hours that you're on the job around the clock if you will and I try to clump them together so that I know my patients so I don't walk in the next shift and get a different patient assignments sometimes you have that happen but for continuity of care that's really nice and nursing you get to know your patient their families and they get to know you as well and trust you I go on around 6:00 at night get there a little early of course get settled but then I'm there and tells 6:30 7:00 in the morning and it's different pace at night there's pros and cons pros you know it's not as busy so that's very nice in some ways you know you don't have as many family coming in physical therapy's not pulling your patient out of bed at 4:00 in the morning and you really get to be with your patient and spend more time on the cares if you will but also it's very hard on you as the nurse because your circadian rhythm that's your sleeper then gets totally off because you go from working staying up three nights and then you have to go back to normalcy for four days or so and so Perce personally that can be very difficult you have to do a lot of self care but when I walk on on to my first shift I take my assignment from my charge nurse I go and look at all of my orders from the physician that includes medications what the plan of care is any special studies we have to have performed and really I make a plan for those 12 hours so that I know exactly where I am and where my patient needs to be and I coordinate that plan not only with the patient but their family and the and other nursing staff that I'm working with so there's two different branches of Nursing that we're taught in nursing school there's a science of Nursing which is very honed in upon but then there's the art of Nursing and that's really where it gets to the human to human connection and interaction that's where you give your patient a hand massage just because they need a little tension relief you clean them that's honestly one of my favorite things to do is clean a person there's nothing more humane that you can do to somebody then help them feel Worth and feel like they have dignity cleaning their environment making sure they have a nice clean hospital room preventing infection and sometimes helping them pass on as well that's a big part of Nursing and that's one of the most rewarding things really that I've done is helping people pass beautifully and it can be done a lot of people think that the soft skills of Nursing are just ingrained in nurses I worked with many nurses who are fabulous nurses that don't necessarily have those soft skills but have to learn it now these skills are compassion patient teaching patient education there is such a art to explaining a disease process to a patient it's hard to communicate but most nurses have a Healing Touch I find they have when they lay their hands on a patient you can tell that they're communicating their love strengths nurture mint and you you can tell when a patient has been cared for well that day and so while you have to be a great critical thinker and have a lot of knowledge base you also really have to have the compassion a lot of people end up in the hospital for issues that really they don't need to be there for they're more just needing somebody needing to be hurt and that's it's nice to be that person so I love that about nursing I love the compassion I love being tender to people that maybe haven't really felt tenderness before I love the variety too you can be an ICU nurse or you can work in a school with children I mean there's a great variety and that can change throughout your career you don't have to be sucking on thing registered nurses have a lot of variety or variability in what they can make as far as their salary they can make anywhere from thirty five to forty thousand which is around where I started in outpatient nursing to over a hundred thousand dollars you can make that kind of money if you become a clinical nurse specialist so you're still a registered nurse but you have more credentialing you focus on specific fields or if you go into nurse leadership you can certainly branch into higher salary brackets if you decide to advance your education and obtain a masters or doctorate degree in nursing you have even more potential for salary increases so nurse practitioners in the state of Colorado right now can make starting around $80,000 which is a nice jump from where I've been as a registered nurse so that's one of the reasons why I'd like to become a nurse practitioner but also you have more autonomy as well which is very important to some nurses
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