You may associate the term “bedside” with the adage “bedside manner,” which refers to a doctor’s ability to calm patients. Bedside nursing goes beyond that.
Bedside nursing requires more than a confident, empathetic bedside manner. They also need to have the ability to provide clinical care.
What Is Bedside Nursing
Medical practitioners who can provide direct care for patients in hospitals, clinics, ambulatory centers, nursing homes, and other medical facilities are called bedside nurses.
Effective health care is only possible when registered nurses, physician assistants, and nurse practitioners all play important roles at the bedside.
Bedside nurses support all patients in the chaotic environment of many hospitals and clinics. To provide comfort for patients and their families, they must establish a trusting and empathic relationship.
The bedside nurse is more than just a comforting presence. Patients may request changes to their treatment or hospital room. Bedside care professionals will accommodate them. They take vitals, monitor a patient’s progress and record changes in symptoms.
Modern bedside nursing practice emphasizes empathy and communication skills — less confusion between patients, staff, and doctors by avoiding medical terminology, maintaining eye contact, using body language, and making sure that there is no medical jargon. To improve the quality of patient-centered nursing, bedside nurses should use humor and technology when appropriate.
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Types of bedside care nursing roles
Bedside nursing is a special type of care that nurses can provide. Nurses can provide this type of care from different backgrounds and levels of their careers.
It’s very unlikely that you will find Bachelor’s Science in Nursing or Master’s Science in Nursing program specializing in bedside nursing or even a certification in this field.
This term describes professionals who provide care that involves face-to-face interaction with patients. These nurses can also be found in almost every hospital wing. There are many bedside nursing specialties.
Sometimes, bedside nursing care can prove difficult. It can eventually lead to burnout. Companion fatigue can also occur in nurses. It’s important to prioritize your mental health and take a break for self-care. You can also consider changing jobs if you feel uncomfortable.
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The Importance of Bedside Nursing Skills
A wide range of skills is essential for bedside nurses to thrive. The best practices for modern patient care are based on a deep understanding and application of technical and soft skills, which can be gained through education and practice. Below are several examples.
- Assessment of patients
- Controlling Infections
- Diagnostic testing
- Execution and set up of treatment plans
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- Bedside nurses deal with sick or vulnerable patients. These feelings should be acknowledged and appreciated.
- Effective communication. This skill is essential for bedside nursing. It allows you to communicate information clearly and concisely.
- Critical thinking. A bedside nurse understands that situations can quickly change and that solutions are not always easy. Critical thinking is necessary to diagnose a symptom and properly treat a patient.
- Keep calm under pressure. The well-being and health of others are key components of any medical profession. It can sometimes be unpredictable. Remaining calm under pressure will help you remain positive in any situation.
- As they gain experience as bedside nurses, they will be trusted to guide and lead others.
- Emotional and physical endurance. Long hours and stress are not uncommon for bedside nurses. Patients may also experience a decline in their health. For combating fatigue and frustration, physical and emotional endurance are essential.
Maximize the Impact of Your Bedside Nursing Skills
The bedside nurse is the one who provides patient care. They can benefit from the skills and experiences they have gained as they move up in their career and may even be able to advance into higher-ranking nursing positions.
Ohio University’s online Master’s Science in Nursing program (MSN) is for registered nurses who wish to expand their skills and career options. The strong core curriculum blends evidence-based nursing practices and advanced nursing theories. You can choose to specialize in nurse education or one of the three concentrations for nurse practitioners.
Discover how the Ohio University MSN degree program can help you make most of your bedside nursing skills and other leadership and advanced practice skills.
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Bedside Nursing and Leadership
No matter what type of care is required, bedside nursing skills can be a foundation for your growth. As they get more experience, they are often given greater autonomy and responsibility.
Nurses will develop a passion for a particular niche within their profession over time. They might consider becoming an advanced practitioner or exploring other options like academic or commercial medical research. These opportunities can be made possible by the skills and experiences nurses have gained at the bedside.
Some bedside nurses may consider various career options if they do not return to school. They could be nurse educators, nurse anesthetists, or practitioners in family, mental, or gerontological practice areas.
According to BLS, U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts advanced practice nursing jobs will grow by 45% between 2019-2029. It is faster than the average growth rate for all occupations (4%) and registered nurses (7%). BLS points out the strong growth of opportunities due to the aging population fueled by the baby boomers and the increased demand for preventive health care.
Why is bedside nursing so critical?
Patients’ needs are particularly taken care of by bedside nurses. They are often required to be calm and on top of their patient’s needs as they work in high-risk settings like trauma, surgery, critical, ICU, emergency and other medical situations. Healthcare professionals on the front lines ensure patients are heard, and their concerns are addressed as necessary.
Bedside nursing vs. community health nursing
Future nurses and others interested in furthering their careers should be able to distinguish between community health nursing and bedside nursing. Each career path has its challenges and benefits.
Many nurses begin their careers in bedside nursing. However, community nursing can offer a rewarding career for those who want to go beyond bedside.
What is Community Health Nursing?
Public health nursing is also known as community health nursing. It involves the work of educating residents on how to prevent and treat illness and identifying health problems.
They also advocate for the well-being of their communities and work with government programs or healthcare providers to increase access to healthcare or create new programming. Community health nurses can help residents enroll in Medicare or reduce pollution in their communities.
PayScale.com reported that public health nurses made a median annual income of $60,000 in September 2020. Public health nurses typically have a minimum bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in nursing and experience in education or community outreach.
According to the BLS, health educators and community health workers are expected to increase by 13% between 2019 and 2029 as healthcare providers and governments seek to improve healthcare outcomes and lower healthcare costs.
Comparing bedside nursing and community health nursing
Individual patients are seen by bedside nurses who address their individual needs and provide day-to-day support. Community health nurses are available to help families, groups, or communities with their health concerns, refer them to health services and prevent illness and disease. Community health nurses are often found in schools, government offices, hospitals, and homes.
Community health nurses are often more autonomous than bedside nurses. Community health nurses can make decisions and develop care programs independently, while bedside nurses work with physicians and more experienced nurses.
The Bedside Nurse as a Care Coordinator
One of a bedside nursing professional’s most important roles is coordinating patients with various medical professionals, therapists, or other care providers.
Nurses spend more time with patients than a specialty in health care, so they are better equipped to understand their patient’s needs and current conditions. Bedside nurses should have great communication skills. They will relay information to other hospital staff involved in patient care.
The Bedside Nurse as Educator
The bedside nurse is responsible for providing patient care and educating their loved ones about their care and lifestyle. A bedside nurse must communicate medical terminology to laypeople to help patients understand their care. The nurse also helps the family and patients understand what to do when discharged and how to continue treatment.
The Bedside Nurse and Compassion Fatigue
Many nurses are familiarized with the term “compassion fatigue.” It is often referred to as emotional burnout and can sometimes manifest itself as depression.
Nurses are expected to provide compassionate care in all situations. It can lead to them not being able to give more to others. Because they are constantly in contact with patients, bedside nurses are particularly at risk. They often need to show empathy and patience. It can be emotionally draining, and many nurses will soon be exhausted.
Bedside Nurses Are at Risk for Injury
One of the most difficult areas of nursing to practice is bedside nursing. Patients are lifted regularly to be transferred from one bed to another. They also roll and hold appendages. Bedside nursing, even with mechanical lifts, requires full body use.
It is a task that many bedside nurses and nursing assistants rely on heavily. Due to current nursing shortage, there are not enough nurses or aids to move a patient safely. Many bedside nurses attempt to lift or move patients alone, which can lead to back and knee injuries or chronic pain.
The Bedside Shortage
The shortage existed before the COVID-19 pandemic and has only worsened. Due to increased stress and scrutiny from the pandemic, many nurses are leaving the profession altogether or leaving the bedside. While bedside nursing can be very rewarding, nurses must be aware of their mental and emotional well-being while they work in this role.
Other alternatives to clinical nursing professions
We understand if you feel your career as a healthcare professional may be ending and that you are ready to retire your scrubs. This job isn’t easy. It’s easy to feel that your years of experience and skills are irrelevant or that a degree from a prestigious nursing school is no longer valuable.
You may feel that you are not doing enough to make a difference in the lives of your patients. Trust us. It’s highly unlikely that either of these statements is true. You can keep your scrubs on while you practice non-bedside Nursing.
If nurses feel burned out by hospital work, they can consider careers in education, forensics and pharmaceutical sales. You can make a career shift to a place that suits your skills, such as a legal office or insurance company. You may earn more as a nurse than a bedside aide, depending on your career path and qualifications.
Let’s talk Money
There is no one salary range for healthcare providers because bedside nurses’ duties and types vary. Many sources indicate that a bedside nurse’s salary is approximately $70,000 per year, similar to the annual earnings of RNs. You will see some adjustments depending on your role.
We cannot thank our bedside nurses enough. That’s why we make sure they are comfortable while they work. We constantly innovate to create the best, most efficient, pocket-bearing, and moisture-wicking scrubs for healthcare workers.
Responsibilities and Tasks
A bedside nurse’s general responsibilities include providing immediate and direct care for any patient they are currently assigned. A bedside nurse might be responsible for the following:
- Assessment of the patient’s overall health
- Recognizing the nursing needs of the patient
- Assist the patient in moving and maintaining proper alignment
- Assisting the patient in using proper body mechanics
- Taking vital signs
- It was accurately recording vital signs.
- Responding to and observing the patient’s spiritual and emotional needs
- Preparing the patient to undergo diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Assisting doctors with diagnostic and therapeutic procedures
- Pay attention to the symptoms and signs a patient has
- Corrective actions should be taken if necessary. Information should also be recorded in the patient’s record.
- Assisting the patient with other hospital staff
- She interprets the information provided to the patient and their/her families to encourage successful therapy and rehabilitation.
While bedside nursing is the most basic form, it is also the most important. These nurses ensure that patients’ basic needs are met so they can heal as quickly as possible.
However, sometimes a patient’s condition can get worse. The nurse’s responsibility at the bedside is to ensure that patients receive the emotional care they need to provide the comfort and care they deserve.
Because of their extensive experience working with patients, bedside nurses often get volunteered or recruited for other roles in the health sector.
These roles can include helping doctors in the OR and private practice and being a procedure specialist. They also assist with education and case management. These are just a few opportunities a bedside nursing assistant can have.
FAQS What is bedside nursing?
What is Patient’s Bedside?
Besides, care goes beyond administering medications and checking vitals. The nurse is there to provide emotional support and advocate for the patient.
Do nurses Have to be Bedside?
Nursing as a career is not limited to clinical work. You can work outside the hospital in many other areas, some of which can be done remotely. Nurses can communicate with patients or organizations via technology without leaving their homes.
What does Bedside Handover Mean?
The bedside nursing handover (Mardis and colleagues, 2016) is a clinical handover method involving the transfer of patient information and the responsibility of patient care from one nurse to the other in the presence of the patient.
How are Bedside Nurses leaders?
Although they significantly influence patients, bedside nurses are often not considered leaders. They impact safety, quality, safety, nosocomial infections and falls.
What makes a Good Bedside Nurse?
You are a person who is kind, compassionate, trustworthy, caring, honest, caring, emotionally stable, empathic, and compassionate. These qualities will serve them well as a nurse.
You exhibit strong communication skills. You can communicate with colleagues and patients, even in their most difficult times.
Is Bedside Nursing Stressful?
Being a bedside nurse can be stressful. Nurses are looking for jobs outside the less stressful hospital and offer a better work/life balance. Many of the skills you have gained from your nursing education can be transferred to other jobs.
How long do I have to be a Bedside Nurse?
California Code of Regulations, section 2516(b) requires the 51-month paid general duty inpatient nursing experience, including at least one of the following: 48 months of medical/surgical nursing experience; 6-week maternity or genitourinary nurse; 6 weeks of pediatric nursing.
What are the benefits of bedside shift report?
The bedside shift report is a way to reduce errors, and it’s important to ensure that nurses communicate with each other. Bedside reports that include the patient in the triad have been proven to increase patient engagement, caregiver support, and education.
What is the best leadership style in nursing?
Strengths: Transformational leaders are great for new nurses because they can mentor, build trust, encourage teamwork, and instill confidence. They also can empower nurses to take control of their actions. They are often highly respected leaders and listen to concerns.
Is ER nursing a bedside nurse?
They don’t require you to be there for the entire shift in the ER. It is ideal for you: This is why it is great!
What is non-bedside nursing?
Non-bedside nursing jobs allow nurses to pursue specializations that enhance their skills without requiring direct patient care. These positions do not require nurses to be bedside, but they still use their nursing skills and knowledge to perform job duties.
Why do nurses leave nursing?
When you consider the increased competition for fewer resources, we will also see more experienced nurses moving from one job to another, sharing their experience and knowledge. Nurses are at the edge of their careers due to overwork, extended shifts, over-scheduling, and stress from providing care during a pandemic.