Take Your Love and Passion for Nursing to a New Level with These Specialties
There are few jobs as noble and respected as that of a nurse. Nurses play a pivotal role in the healthcare industry and, without them, patients would suffer greatly. As a nurse, you will be faced with plenty of challenges and stressful situations, but for many that have chosen the path, this is part of the allure as they just want to be able to help and make a difference in people's lives.
However, what if you're not satisfied with simply being a registered nurse? What if you want to take your love and passion for nursing and patient care to the next level? If that's the case, it can be well worth it to look into the various nursing specialty areas where you can pick a stream and follow it. There are a number of paths available, so let's highlight a few of the more popular ones.
Hospice nurses play a very important role in caring for terminally ill patients. These are people who are approaching the end of their life and will require various levels of care and compassion. While this can be a very emotionally draining job, it is also one that truly allows you to give back and make an impact on someone's life, even in their final days.
A typical shift will have you speaking with your patients so that you understand how they are feeling. You will also be helping them with medication, managing their pain, taking their vital signs, and keeping track of all symptoms.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
For those who love working with babies, there is no better path than that of a labor and delivery nurse. Your primary role will be to look after expectant mothers during the pregnancy, labor, and post-partum stages of the process. You will also be helping the doctor to actually deliver the babies.
But it goes much deeper than just helping to deliver a baby; you will also provide important information to new parents during the delivery and post-delivery process. There's no doubt they will have lots of questions and look to you for guidance, so you will play a large role in the entire experience. As many labor and delivery nurses will attest, a huge part of your job will also be to offer encouragement to the mother-to-be who is in labor and helping her to get through the process.
On the complete opposite end of the spectrum are geriatrics specialists who are working with seniors. Maybe babies aren't your thing, but you enjoy working with older patients. Because geriatric patients can be all over the community, this particular field won't have you based only at the hospital. It's common to work in retirement homes, rehabilitation centers, and long-term care homes just to name a few.
In terms of your specific responsibilities, you will be:
- Working to ensure the psychological and functional health of people who are 65 and older
- Working with patients to implement their specific treatment plan that will address chronic and/or acute illnesses and conditions
- Performing various medical tasks in the patient's home or medical setting
- Helping to administer medication
- Setting up the patient care plan and helping them to stay on track
- Working with the doctor during any procedures and exams
- Teaching family members and primary caregivers how to properly look after the patient
Infection control has never been more relevant, newsworthy, and essential than it is today. The on-going COVID-19 pandemic has really shined a light on how important infection control is, especially in healthcare settings. There's no doubt you've heard about, or read about outbreaks happening in hospitals, which is exactly what infection control aims to limit, and hopefully stop.
As a nurse in the infection control specialty, it will be your job to help identify and then prevent the spread of all types of infectious agents. This includes viruses and bacteria, each of which can cause real havoc in a healthcare setting.
You'll need to have excellent communication skills so you can implement proper infection control measures, and you'll need to have a very keen eye for detail so that even the smallest details don't escape you. Much of your job will also be teaching others in the healthcare environment how to follow the proper measures, how to contain an outbreak, and how to contain an epidemic. Besides working with the hospital or clinic, you may also work with government agencies.
Home Health Care
This is another specialty that will have you stepping out of the hospital and clinic and providing care right in the patient's home. Your patient can be of any age, as home health care nurses work with the young and old. Patients may have chronic or acute illnesses, they may be terminally ill, or they may be disabled. In this job you will be providing essential one-on-one care.
Because the patients vary so greatly, this is the kind of specialty where you will be dealing with all kinds of tasks, issues, and challenges. No two days will be the same, and you often have a number of patients you are working with at any given time. You need to be extremely detailed, be good at multi-tasking, and have excellent communication skills.
Why Choose a Specialty?
So, why choose a specialty in the first place? Well, it's a great way to stand out in the field and help you land a job. Not every nurse has a specialty, which means you will have the edge. It's also a way to command a higher salary. You can check this website for more information on nursing specialty areas, and what sort of education you need to pursue them.
If you're looking to pursue a career in nursing, or you simply want to elevate your current passion for the field, getting the proper training and schooling can help you to specialize in a particular area that gives you the edge over the competition.