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What Does a Nurse Clinician Do?

Nick Mann
Nick Mann

A nurse clinician is a position that revolves around overseeing a department within a hospital or nursing home. Essentially, a nurse clinician is the equivalent of a registered nurse, but with additional training. It's her responsibility to ensure excellent patient care and to make sure that her department operates smoothly. Some typical duties of this job include monitoring patient care, recommending patient treatments, filling out patient reports, training personnel and doing inventory.

Monitoring patient care is one of the most fundamental and important duties of a nurse clinician. It's up to her to check on patients to make sure that all needs are being taken care of and facility guidelines are being followed. She will also evaluate the job performance of subordinates and provide feedback when necessary. This aspect of the job requires a person with medical expertise, interpersonal skills and leadership skills.

Woman posing
Woman posing

Another integral part of this job is recommending patient treatments. Typically, this involves an examination where a nurse clinician meets with a patient and forms a diagnosis. For this practice, she will use her knowledge to assess the needs of each patient and make an appropriate treatment recommendation. Depending on the circumstances, treatments might include prescription drugs, physical therapy or an alternate type of therapy. To be effective in this task, she must have an extensive knowledge of treatment options and the ability to build rapport with patients.

Filling out patient reports is also an important practice and is usually done after diagnosing a patient. Keeping detailed reports is necessary for providing quality care for patients, so a nurse clinician must always keep track of them. Often this information is transferred to a patient's regular doctor and can be used to suggest future treatment options.

In many cases, a nurse clinician is also responsible for training personnel. When new nurses or nursing assistants are hired, it's often up to her to get those new employees acquainted with her facility's standards and guidelines. This may involve demonstrating how to use certain equipment, how to use computers and how to interact with patients. Properly performing training responsibilities means that a nurse clinician must have sound teaching skills and be able to effectively share her knowledge with others.

In addition, a nurse clinician is usually the one who does inventory and maintains nursing supplies. Items like syringes, IVs and medicine containers must continually be reordered or a facility might be unable to adequately treat patients. Consequently, a nurse clinician must keep track of supplies and place orders as needed. This aspect of the job requires a person with considerable organizational skills and the ability to think ahead.

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