Have you ever considered a career as a health visitor? If the answer is yes, here is some advice on how you can achieve your dream career.
To become a health visitor, you will need around two years experience as a qualified and registered nurse or midwife but there is no specific minimum period of post-registration service required before beginning training.
The Role of the Health Visitor
The main purpose of a health visitor is to promote good health in the community. Their work is done in the homes of the public. They tend to visit at set times following a request from the person’s GP, following the birth of a baby, the requirement to check on the health of a child or adult or to assess the progress of the person.
Type of person
If you want to become a health visitor you need to be a hard working, strong character that is focused on the health and wellbeing of people without being too pushy. You will need to be able to listen to people and provide honest advice. You should be aware that life in this role doesn’t include the glitz and glamour of certain careers but can be rewarding and satisfying to those who care about people and want to make a different to the community and their health. Although being a health visitor is mainly dominated by females, the NHS are actively recruiting both sexes with benefits which include a career, flexibility for those of you who have children, career breaks and the possibility of earning a decent salary.
Training expectations for health visitors
Many health visitors start their careers in nursing or midwifery and later take up training to become a fully qualified health visitor. Training as a health visitor involves taking approved post-registration training in specialist community public health nursing/health visiting at degree level. This usually takes one year full time or the equivalent part time. Courses may be completed in a shorter period where credit is given for prior learning or experience.
Most health visitors work office hour from 9am to 5pm so they can arrange appointments, clinics and home visits within these hours. However, like any job in the medical profession you need to be flexible and able to work out of hours if needed and be on call in case of emergencies at least once a month.
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