Patience and Patients
Nursing is a career that covers a huge area of caring for patients, from accident and emergency to school nurses. Whatever your good at, there is sure to be a branch of nursing that fits your skills. As a nurse you can expect to record patients’ medical histories and symptoms, administer medicine and treatment, plan patient care, record observations, consult with doctors and healthcare professionals and operate medical equipment. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list of what a nurse will need to do on a daily basis.
Most nurses will work with a team of physicians and specialists and can be responsible for supervising nursing assistants, healthcare workers and junior nurses. There are so many different areas in which to specialise too. You could focus on one of the following:
- A specific part of the body
- A specific health condition such as diabetes or cancer
- A specific group of people such as geriatric or pediatric nursing
- A specific workplace such as an emergency department
There are so many options and the chance to combine any of the above areas, for example, a pediatric oncology nurse. If you feel strongly about helping certain groups of people then maybe you think about becoming a nurse who looks after people addicted to alcohol or drugs or a cardiovascular nurse who looks after patients with heart disease or those who have had heart surgery. Neonatal nurses look after newborn babies, nephrology nurses look after people with kidney problems and rehabilitation nurses care for those who have temporary or permanent disabilities.
To be a nurse, you must have a certain level of physical fitness as nurses will do a lot of walking, bending, standing and stretching. Due to the frequency of having to lift patients, they can often suffer with back problems. You will also be out into close contact with people with infectious diseases, hazardous materials and drugs. There are strict guidelines to follow to ensure the safety of practicing nurses including guarding against diseases, radiation, needle sticks and chemical exposure. It is certainly not a 9-5 job either, with patients needing around the clock care and a nurse will be expected to work shifts covering days, nights and bank holidays. You will also need to undergo a DBS Check. For more information, visit http://carecheck.co.uk/.
If you have the following attributes then nursing might be the job for you:
- Compassion – there is definitely a need to be caring, sympathetic and understanding as you might be dealing with people at their most vulnerable
- Attention to detail – a nurse must be responsible and detail orientated as correct treatments and doses at the right times could be the difference between life and death
- Stability – a nurse needs to remain professional and a level of emotional stability is essential as you might be dealing with human suffering and emergencies
- Organisational skills – very important as nurses will be dealing with multiple patients with different needs
- Communication – nurses must be able to speak to patients effectively to ease understanding in what could be a stressful situation. They will need to explain information, give instructions and communicate with other health professionals.