Physical Requirements for Being an RN

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    • A nurse requires certain physical abilities to do the job adequately.nursing duties image by Pix by Marti from

      A registered nurse (RN) is a licensed professional who provides care to patients in a health care setting. RNs lead, coordinate or assist other health care personnel. An RN earns a national average salary of $65,130, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) May 2008 Occupational Employment Statistics. If you are interested in becoming an RN, enroll in an approved nursing associate, bachelor's or diploma program. In addition to getting the proper education, you will need to be physically capable of performing the job duties.

    Sensory Abilities

    • An RN requires sensory ability to do the job. According to the School of Nursing at Pacific Lutheran University, nurses must be able to see color changes on a patient's skin; have the ability to listen to heart and lung sounds through a stethoscope; and feel skin temperature, as well as palpating pulses. According to the Occupational Information Network (O*Net), some vital sensory abilities include near vision, far vision, perceptual speed, visual color discrimination, depth perception and hearing sensitivity.

    Motor Abilities

    • Motor abilities are vital for an RN. Nurses must be able to manipulate equipment in a safe and effective way. Oftentimes, nurses are required to execute tasks with accuracy. For example, a nurse drawing blood has to insert a needle at the precise location of a vein. According to O*Net, finger dexterity, arm-hand steadiness and manual dexterity are important abilities for an RN. Nurses also use tools that require motor functioning, such as blood pressure monitors, hypodermic needles and hemostats.

    Speech and Communication

    • An RN must be able to communicate with patients, families and other health care workers. Speech clarity, speech recognition and written expression are vital abilities for performing the job, according to O*Net.

    Strength and Stamina

    • An RN may be required to lift heavy items. According to the BLS, nurses may be vulnerable to back injury from moving patients. Nurses also spend a prolonged amount of time standing, walking, bending and stretching.

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