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Nurses, also called registered nurses or RNs, take care of sick and injured people. They give people medicine, treat wounds, and provide emotional support for patients and their families. Nurses also tell people how to take care of themselves and their families. Some nurses teach people about diet and exercise and how to follow doctors' instructions.
Many nurses work in doctors' offices. Nurses help doctors examine and treat patients. They ask patients about their symptoms and keep detailed records. They dress wounds, administer medicine, and give medical tests. Some also do lab and office work. Other nurses work in emergency rooms or intensive care units. Many nurses spend a lot of time walking and standing.
Nurses can focus on treating one type of patient, such as babies or children. They can also focus on one type of problem. Some focus on helping doctors during surgery. Some nurses run clinics and immunization centers. Home health nurses go to people's homes to help them. Many nurses also work in nursing homes and care for the elderly.
All nurses study anatomy, chemistry, nutrition, psychology, and nursing theory. Some nurses have special training and can do more advanced work. Nurse practitioners can prescribe medicine. Nurse midwives can help with the birth of babies. Flight nurses fly in helicopters to get to sick people in emergencies.
While helping sick people and dealing with medical emergencies can be stressful, nurses need to be caring and kind. They have to be good at recognizing problems and remembering details. Nurses often have to help many patients at once. Hospital nurses may have to work nights, weekends, and holidays. Many nurses also supervise assistants and other workers. Experienced nurses can become head nurses or directors of nursing.
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