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Tasks Performed by Nurses for Their Patients: The Minute, the Unusual and the Bizarre

Have you ever wondered what nurses do? If you have never been inside a hospital environment or watched Holby City or St Elsewhere, then you probably do not have the darnedest clue! What better person to tell you than a nurse?

The moment a patient enters the hospital doors for treatment of one form or another, they have no choice but to entrust their life into the hands of a stranger. These patients sometimes lose their independence, permanently or temporarily, and when that happens, they become vulnerable creatures. The role of the nurse can never be over-emphasised in a patient’s life. They are the patient’s eyes and ears, walking and talking on behalf of the patient. So there is more to nursing than that pay packet at the end of each month!

Nurses not only pace up and down the hospital wards tending to patients’ wounds, popping pills, making beds and missing their coffee breaks, they also perform some of the most mundane, unusual, if not bizarre tasks for their patients. Of course, as ordinary and minute as they may seem, these tasks mean a lot to the patient, and nurses perform them for their patients out of care and love. Those called to be nurses do it without wincing or complaining, and it is these minor tasks that make it all worthwhile. It is the reason these nurses keep coming back for more.

The following is a list of some of the most minute, if not bizarre, tasks that nurses perform for their patients:

1) The itch

Scratching patients’ noses, feet, and bellies. Sometimes patients ask nurses to perform these minor tasks for them when they are incapacitated and feeling vulnerable, and what better person to fill in the gap than their entrusted nurse!

2) Hearing aids/dentures

Most elderly patients who wear hearing aids and dentures need help to put them on and taking them out, switching them on and adjusting them, and nurses are more than happy to do that.

3) Grooming

Cutting and painting a patient’s toenails, fingernails and filing them. Combing, styling, and platting their hair. Yes, you read correctly. Forget the beautician. Nurses do it all.

4) Personal hygiene

Wiping patients’ bottoms! Enough said.

5) Communication

Holding the phone to their ears, interpreting and passing on messages.

6) Nutrition

Feeding patients back to health. There are times nurses have to beg, plead, and persuade patients to eat!

7) Entertainment

Reading for patients, sitting beside their beds, listening to them talk, watching TV with them and so on.

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