Once you’ve decided that a career in the medical professional is the right path, you are then faced with the important decision on choosing the right nursing career for you. You will already be aware that there’s a shortage of nurses in the UK, especially within the NHS sector.
Here are some options for you to choose which nursing careers pursue:
Adult nurses work with people of all ages with different health conditions, both chronic and acute. They have many skills and use caring, counselling, managing, teaching and all aspects of interpersonal skills to improve the quality of patients' lives, sometimes in difficult situations. Work can be based in hospital wards, clinics or, community settings and you may be required to do shift work to provide 24-hour care.
Mental health nurses
With as many as one in three people suffering from mental health problems during some point in their life, conditions can range from personality and psychological disorders to neuroses and psychoses. Nurses who choose to specialise in the mental health branch of nursing, will work with GPs, psychiatrists, psychologists, and others, to help care for patients with mental illnesses.
District nurses visit people of all ages, often in their own homes, GP surgeries or a residential home. Many patients are elderly, others may have disabilities, be recovering after a hospital stay, or have a terminal illness. You may do shift work to provide around the clock care. This is role would suit those of you who are good with one on one patients and can develop strong and ongoing trusting relationships.
Health visitors are registered nurses or midwives who taken extra training covering a specific geographical area. The role of a health visitor is to improve the health of families and children in the first few years of their life. They are people who enjoy working in the community; to help prevent illness and to promote health and wellbeing.
Practice nurses work in GP surgeries as part of a primary care team that is likely to include doctors, nurses, dietitians and pharmacists. In smaller practices, they may be the sole nurse, whereas in larger surgeries, you may share duties with practice nurse colleagues.
Prison nurses are registered nurses based in prison. They are either employed by the prison service or, increasingly, by the NHS. Many prisoners suffer from substance abuse or have a mental health problem, which can make this environment challenging. It’s important to be a strong character when working in this environment and by improving the mental and physical health of a prisoner you can help lower re-offending rates, and therefore have a positive impact on prisoners, their families and the wider public.
School nurses are usually employed by the NHS locally or by a school themselves. They provide a variety of services such as providing health and sex education within schools, carrying out developmental screening, undertaking health interviews and administering immunisation programmes.
Theatre nurses are qualified nurses that have completed additional training to be able to provide specialist care to patients of all ages at the different stages of surgery. Based with a hospital, they usually work within operating theatres and associated anaesthetic and recovery areas, but may also be involved with certain procedures on wards, clinics or in other specialist areas.
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