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Roles and Function of a Nurse


Roles and Function of a Nurse

1. Caregiver
  • The caregiver role has traditionally included those activities that assist the client physically and psychologically while preserving the client’s dignity. Caregiving encompasses the physical, psychosocial, developmental, cultural and spiritual levels.
2. Communicator
  • Communication is an integral to all nursing roles. Nurses communicate with the client, support persons, other health professionals, and people in the community. In the role of communicator, nurses identify client problems and then communicate these verbally or in writing to other members of the health team. The quality of a nurse’s communication is an important factor in nursing care.
3. Teacher
  • As a teacher, the nurse helps clients learn about their health and the health care procedures they need to perform to restore or maintain their health. The nurse assesses the client’s learning needs and readiness to learn, sets specific learning goals in conjunction with the client, enacts teaching strategies and measures learning.
4. Client advocate
  • Client advocate acts to protect the client. In this role the nurse may represent the client’s needs and wishes to other health professionals, such as relaying the client’s wishes for information to the physician. They also assist clients in exercising their rights and help them speak up for themselves.
5. Counselor
  • Counseling is a process of helping a client to recognize and cope with stressful psychologic or social problems, to developed improved interpersonal relationships, and to promote personal growth. It involves providing emotional, intellectual, and psychologic support.
6. Change agent
  • The nurse acts as a change agent when assisting others, that is, clients, to make modifications in their own behavior. Nurses also often act to make changes in a system such as clinical care, if it is not helping a client return to health.
7. Leader
  • A leader influences others to work together to accomplish a specific goal. The leader role can be employed at different levels; individual client, family, groups of clients, colleagues, or the community. Effective leadership is a learned process requiring an understanding of the needs and goals that motivate people, the knowledge to apply the leadership skills, and the interpersonal skills to influence others.
8. Manager
  • The nurse manages the nursing care of individuals, families, and communities. The nurse-manager also delegates nursing activities to ancillary workers and other nurses, and supervises and evaluates their performance.
9. Case manager
  • Nurse case managers work with the multidisciplinary health care team to measure the effectiveness of the case management plan and to monitor outcomes.
10. Research consumer – nurses often use research to improve client care. In a clinical area nurses need to:
  • Have some awareness of the process and language of research
  • Be sensitive to issues related to protecting the rights of human subjects
  • Participate in identification of significant researchable problems
  • Be a discriminating consumer of research findings

Expanded role of the nurse

1. Clinical Specialists
  • Is a nurse who has completed a master’s degree in specialty and has considerable clinical expertise in that specialty. She provides expert care to individuals, participates in educating health care professionals and ancillary, acts as a clinical consultant and participates in research.
2. Nurse Practitioner
  • Is a nurse who has completed either as certificate program or a master’s degree in a specialty and is also certified by the appropriate specialty organization. She is skilled at making nursing assessments, performing P. E., counseling, teaching and treating minor and self- limiting illness.
3. Nurse-midwife
  • A nurse who has completed a program in midwifery; provides prenatal and postnatal care and delivers babies to woman with uncomplicated pregnancies.
4. Nurse anesthetist
  • A nurse who completed the course of study in an anesthesia school and carries out pre-operative status of clients.
5. Nurse Educator
  • A nurse usually with advanced degree, who beaches in clinical or educational settings, teaches theoretical knowledge, clinical skills and conduct research.
6. Nurse Entrepreneur
  • A nurse who has an advanced degree, and manages health-related business.
7. Nurse administrator
  • A nurse who functions at various levels of management in health settings; responsible for the management and administration of resources and personnel involved in giving patient care.





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