What are the Different Types of Hospital Nursing Jobs?

M.C. Huguelet

Those considering working as a nurse in a hospital have an extremely wide variety of specific jobs to choose from. Some hospital nursing jobs involve caring for patients who have been admitted due to illness or are recovering from surgery. Certain hospital nurses work in the emergency department. Others are based primarily in an operating or delivery room. Many hospital nursing jobs involve treating a particular illness or disease or administering a specific type of diagnostic test.

Labor and delivery nurses assist obstetricians during patient visits.
Labor and delivery nurses assist obstetricians during patient visits.

Some hospital nursing jobs involve administering general care to patients who are recovering from surgery or have been admitted due to an illness or accident. Critical care nurses, for instance, generally work in a unit in which all patients are in critical condition. They spend shifts caring for assigned patients as needed, performing such tasks as administering medication, changing dressings, and providing information and comfort to patients’ family members. Some general care nurses work specifically with babies or children.

A hospital nurse might specialize in kidney dialysis treatment.
A hospital nurse might specialize in kidney dialysis treatment.

Certain hospital nurses are based in an emergency department. This type of nurse may be responsible for performing a preliminary evaluation of individuals who arrive at the emergency department to determine what type of treatment is needed. She may also assist emergency room doctors as they attempt to treat arrivals with serious health concerns. The work of an emergency room nurse is often extremely fast-paced.

Some hospital nurses work exclusively in operating rooms, helping prepare patients and assisting surgeons.
Some hospital nurses work exclusively in operating rooms, helping prepare patients and assisting surgeons.

Other hospital nursing jobs are based primarily in an operating or delivery room. A perioperative nurse provides aid to a surgeon during an operation, keeping track of medical instruments, observing vital signs, and sometimes closing incisions. Nurse anesthesiologists administer anesthesia prior to a surgical procedure, and monitor patients during and after the procedure to ensure they do not react adversely to the anesthetic. Labor and delivery nurses assist obstetricians as they deliver babies.

Many hospital nursing jobs involve treating a particular illness or disease or administering a specific type of diagnostic test or treatment. Oncology nurses, for instance, deal specifically with patients who have cancer, while respiratory nurses work with those who have lung conditions like asthma or emphysema. Some nurses work in hospital departments dedicated to a certain type of diagnostic testing, such as radiology labs. Others focus on a particular type of treatment, such as chemotherapy or kidney dialysis. These nurses may assist physicians in administering treatments or may attend to patients following a treatment session to ensure that they are recovering properly.

Many hospital nursing jobs involve treating a particular illness or disease.
Many hospital nursing jobs involve treating a particular illness or disease.

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