What are the respective functions of a Primary Care Nurse and a Team Nurse?

The functions and responsibilities of a primary care nurse are:

1)     The primary nurse is responsible for collaborating with other health care professionals assigned to care for the medical needs of the client.

2)     Physical assessment.

3)     Administration of medication

4)     Creating nursing care plans

5)     Charting medications, I&O, and other pertinent findings related to the care of the client

6)     Provides patient teaching as well as discharge planning.

7)     Evaluates the plan of care given to the patient as well as creating and implementing necessary adjustments for patient’s improvement.

Any perceived problems are consulted with the nurse manager by the primary care nurse for guidance and approval of any plan of action.  This is to ensure the safety of both client and primary care nurse since total accountability and responsibility is on the primary care nurse.

On the other hand, functions and responsibilities of a team nurse are:

1)     The team nurse is the figure of authority within the team, and responsible for coordinating the team members’ actions with respect to implementing total patient care.  The team leader in this way serves as a role model for each member.

2)     Performs any delicate tasks that have to be done to the patient outside the scope of a team member’s knowledge and capability.

3)     The team leader is responsible in planning the care of a patient by coordinating with the team through nursing conferences and formulating nursing care plans.

4)     Fill in for any team member who is unavailable (i.e. breaks, conference)

5)     Coordinate each action done by the members of the team.  The team leader then observes the implementation done by the members of the team, takes note of the method of implementation by noting both strengths and weaknesses of each member.  The notations are then relayed to the members of the team either at the end of the shift or on the next day’s scheduled conference.

6)     Schedule a 10-15 minute conference each day to promote communication and continuity of care.  The team nurse is responsible for arranging the time and venue of the conference.  The physical set up is also the responsibility of the team leader which includes but not limited to: temperature of the room, adequacy of space and seats, arrangement of necessary devices such as projectors or sound system in order to communicate better with the members of the team.