February 18th, 2013
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Become a Nurse
Although nursing may be one of the more challenging careers out there, it is also one of the most rewarding. Anybody with a caring nature and a desire to help others will enjoy being a nurse, and the ever-changing face of healthcare means that there are multiple opportunities to enhance training and specialize in certain fields.
What does a nurse do?
A nurse is a qualified healthcare practitioner who cares for patients either in a hospital, care home, or medical environment. A nurse is responsible for the overall wellbeing of a patient; this means they will monitor their condition using medical equipment, and will play a key role in making decisions about their care. Nurses have a wide set of healthcare skills that can be used when caring for a patient. These include administering drugs, giving injections, suturing wounds, and many other tasks that are general and specialized.
What kind of training is required to become a nurse?
Those who want to become a nurse typically take one of two routes. The first focuses on completing a Bachelor of Nursing at college; this usually takes around four years. It is also possible to obtain an associate’s degree, which can take two-to-three years. Both qualifications will require the nurse to study biological sciences, medical sciences, and other subjects like ethics and psychology. The training provided focuses on academic learning, as well as applying clinical skills in a practical setting. For some nurses, it is necessary to take specialist training; for example, a labor and delivery nurse will need further training in obstetrics.
What kind of jobs are available and what do they entail?
As a nurse, you can choose to work primarily in secondary care settings. A secondary care setting is a hospital, and in a hospital you can choose to work on a particular ward. For example, you may want to work in the Emergency Room (ER), or you could choose to work on a ward for dementia patients. This will depend on what you want to specialize in, as well as what you have studied.
Alternatively, nurses can work in a primary care setting. This involves working at a family doctor’s office, delivering the routine care that patients expect from standard medical appointments. For example, taking blood pressure, temperature, and weight.
Some nurses choose to work in care homes and residential communities. These nurses have typically specialized in geriatric care, and are based in these environments just in case emergency situations arise. Alternatively, you may specialize in geriatric care and work in the home of a patient(s). Some patients may not want to leave their home when they get older, and by caring for them in that environment you provide many therapeutic benefits.
The nature of a nurse’s work can vary enormously, and depends heavily on the care setting you choose to enter. This job can range from being physically demanding, to being similar to an office. With each setting, you will find caring for others is very rewarding.