The EBPC Guide to Nursing – Part 1
Nursing is a huge field, with hundreds of different career paths, so it comes as no surprise that it’s a popular choice for many. It’s been nearly 150 years since Florence Nightingale first set up her training centres for nurses, but more and more women and men are turning towards this rewarding and fascinating work, particularly as a second career choice.
If you have just completed your nursing degree or diploma, or considering a career change, you will be thinking about what area you would like to specialise in – but what exactly does being a nurse entail? Read on for our guide to nursing.
Main duties of a Registered Nurse (RN)
Anyone who has been in a doctor’s surgery or hospital setting will know that the first person you will likely have contact with will be the nurse. Their main duties are as follows:
- Assisting doctors during patient examinations and surgery
- Taking records of patients’ symptoms and evaluating any changes
- Administering injections, taking blood samples, dressing wounds and cuts
- Working in laboratory situations
- Outreach work in the community when necessary
- Reviewing treatment plans for patients and assessing their progress
- Teaching members of the public about good self-care
Obviously, nurses do a lot more than this during their working day, but the main qualities you need to be a nurse are emotional intelligence and strength, empathy, resilience, a calm, kind nature, and the ability to respond well in very stressful and potentially life-threatening situations.
10 possible career paths – a guide to nursing options
Whilst we can’t list ALL of the options open to nurses, here is a taster of some from the myriad of career paths available to the modern nurse today.
- Travel nurse – lots of travel retailers and travel agencies now have separate clinics in their own shops for their customers, such as STA Travel and Nomad travel equipment stores. People who want to travel all over the world safely need to be advised and inoculated by specialist travel nurses. With this job title, world travel is possible, too.
- Practice nurse – nearer to home, this nurse works within a certain health centre or clinic, or directly in a community, providing nursing care, planning that care, administering treatments and delivering health education to patients of all kinds. This can be hugely rewarding and puts them in the centre of community life.
- Advanced nurse practitioner – Often these nurses are found at walk-in centres and are often also qualified to prescribe. They will be highly trained and able to assess, diagnose, treat, and discharge patients within their skill range, or refer to doctors if they feel it is appropriate.
- School nurse – for those who love children and want a varied role, this would suit very well. Scheduling and overseeing inoculations, dealing with daily knocks and injuries, and even teaching students about well being and keeping healthy keeps them busy.
- Labour and delivery nurse – these nurses have the wonderful job of welcoming new life. They are responsible for caring for mothers during their labour, assisting in inducing births, giving epidurals, monitoring contractions, and are present in case of complications during childbirth.
- Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) nurse – these are the angels who look after the tiny new borns when there have been difficulties, where the babies are born ill, or very premature. Their role is very specific, attaching these tiny new lives to life-saving equipment, and monitoring their development.
- Psychiatric nurse – with mental illness on the rise across the U.K. there is still a demand for these particular nurses. It is a huge field on its own, and they usually work in teams with occupational health, psychiatrists, crisis teams and community nurses, to provide medications and therapies to mentally ill patients. They also provide support for the families of these patients.
- Paediatric nurse – a very special kind of nurse is required to work with critically ill infants, children and teenagers. Paediatric nurses need a lot of patience, empathy and creativity. Although the duties are fairly usual as with other fields of nursing, this is one that is harder emotionally, and takes someone with great endurance.
- Dental triage nurse – working within a specific ward or clinic, this nurse will have to be a quick thinker and great at problem solving, as well as thick skinned. He or she will be required to assess the urgency of a patient’s condition very quickly, and decide who gets seen first, make the necessary referral and provide information on analgesics and pain relief.
- Emergency nurse practitioner – at the sharp end of acute nursing is the emergency nurse practitioner. Able to treat patients with minor illnesses and injuries, these nurses are often nurse prescribers and specialised in a certain field. They need to be calm under pressure and good at making fast decisions in sometimes pressurised environments.
Are you ready to break into nursing?
Do you have what it takes to be an Emergency Nurse Practitioner? Have you got the qualifications and right personality to be a Dental Triage Nurse? Is your dream to become an Advanced Nurse Practitioner? Well, the East Berkshire Primary Care Out of Hours team are looking NOW for the right people to provide excellent nursing care in their area.