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A Student Nurse's Duties

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A student nurse works to maintain, promote and restore the health of patients while following the procedures of the hospital where she is gaining practical experience. A student nurse must follow the instructions of her clinical instructor. Working at a health care facility offers a chance for a student nurse to practice what she has learned in school. It is a challenging experience that involves several duties.

Patient Needs

Student nurses should research the basics of their patients’ needs. Clinical instructors expect student nurses to read and understand the diagnoses of their designated patients. Student nurses must understand the medical conditions of their patients as well as any medications they might require. In addition, student nurses need to be versed in modern technologies, which are important for patient care.


As part of their clinical rotations, student nurses should administer medications after researching the effects of the medications on patients. They should carry out this function only with the approval of the physician or clinical instructor. Administering medications involves preparing them in the appropriate doses, administering them at the specified times and using the right procedures. Student nurses must also ensure that they are administering medications to the right patients by asking them their names. Additionally, student nurses should check patient IDs to confirm their identities.

Nursing Care

Student nurses also provide nursing care for their patients by assisting them to bathe and eat. Bathing patients may be laborious, especially when they are bedridden. The student nurse has to cover the patient with blankets or sheets to keep him warm. In addition, she should keep the bed dry by placing a towel under the patient. Part of the nursing care demands that student nurses should change bedding after bathing their patients. Gaining a patient’s consent to care for him is vital because he may be uncomfortable with a student nurse.


Charting patient information helps in providing appropriate and timely care to the concerned patients. It involves recording medical records, which include details, such as the patient’s condition, medication list, treatment plan and symptoms. Part of this duty entails recording any vital signs that they have noted for the patient as well as any treatment they or others have administered. The patient’s medical chart should also contain his medical history. Student nurses can record these details using handwritten means or by recording them in a computer. Charting affords student nurses with an opportunity to learn more about personal nursing care.

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Courtney Hale/iStock/GettyImages