Nursing is one of the widest areas in medicine.
Globally, there are 104 different kinds of nursing professions. Meaning that when you go into this field, there will be a few tough decisions to make.
Some kinds of nursing are more well known, such as an ER nurse or a pediatric nurse. But there are many other kinds of nursing that you can train in – many of which you may have never heard of or considered.
So, it is worth asking yourself, which kind of nursing you want to train in and where your passions lie.
Here are 5 of the lesser-known areas of nursing that you can begin training in.
When you think of clinical trials, you may not think of the medical practitioners who run them and, yes, in medical trials this includes nurses.
During accelerated nursing programs, you will need to conduct your own research. This role is in some ways an extension of that but it is also a very compassionate role. You will need to support patients through the trial as well as logging any side effects that they may experience from the medications.
You will also likely be responsible for setting up trial protocols. For instance, if you are working with cancer patients, you may need to set up intravenous drips or prepare oral medication. This will need to be charted and recorded.
Data collection is going to be part of this job too as well as submitting research proposals to get external funding. So, being a research nurse is very much a mixture of clinical practice and research.
This role can be a very tough one. It is not for the thin-skinned.
A forensic nurse specializes in the care of victims of violent crimes. They are often called as medical witnesses at trials and they are involved in the collection of evidence.
They may work in hospitals or even centers for supporting victims of domestic abuse. But they can also work at a coroner’s office. This will involve more training as you will be handling and collecting evidence from deceased victims.
You will work with the courts and local law enforcement. It is still a role that requires compassion and caring. Especially if you are working with victims of distressing crimes like rape.
You will also likely have to take on other roles, such as liaising with legal teams, alongside offering support for victims and their families.
In short, this nursing role can be rewarding but also very challenging. It also usually involves other types of training depending on the area you work in.
A military nurse provides care to patients who are in the armed forces. Their patients are usually members of the Navy, Army or Air Force.
In many ways, a military nurse performs all of the same tasks as a regular or civilian nurse. They report observations, administer medications as well as ensuring that their patients are safe.
However, their base of operation is likely to be a bit more hectic. Military nurses can operate out of standard military hospitals or an aircraft. You may even be needed to work in a hostile environment overseas, especially if there is currently a conflict.
As such, military nurses often get more support when they are not working. Due to rougher work environments, they may succumb to PTSD – so mental health support is often part of the job benefits.
Of course, this job allows you to travel more. If you are a military nurse, you may be deployed in another country for any period of time. There will also likely be spells in your own country of residence.
As the name suggests, a prison nurse works in prisons as part of the healthcare team.
Depending on the country you work in, you may work for a public service (like the NHS in the UK) or you may work for a private sector healthcare provider.
As is the way with prisons, there are different levels of security. You may want to work in a high secure unit. You can also work in a juvenile unit or an open prison.
As for the role, you will be involved in health screening. There will also be other requirements such as wound management. There may be prisoners who have substance misuse issues. Thus, you will need to help with detox programs and monitoring. There may also be a need for you to refer prisoners to other units based on their needs or their mental health. Liaising and meetings are a large feature in this role.
This role involves you being aware of drug addiction as well as mental health issues alongside illnesses that are more prevalent in prison populations. So, it’s a very challenging post!
Have you ever been put under a general anesthetic? Or have you had emergency surgery? If so, you have been under the care of a theatre nurse.
Theatre nurses tend to work in hospitals and work alongside surgeons and anesthesiologists. You will be involved in preoperative procedures, such as discussing health issues with the patients and taking a history. You will also need to record a patient’s weight, heart rate and so on before they go under anesthetic, so any anomalies can be detected during surgery. Many theatre nurses also have to clean and prepare surgical equipment, while also gauging which tools will be needed. This can be tricky but becomes second nature with practice.
Once the patient is in the theatre, you will likely be charged with monitoring them. Once the surgery is complete, you will need to assess them. You will need to oversee or provide appropriate care afterward. But this will depend on the complexity of the surgery.
In a nutshell
Nursing is a fascinating and essential part of healthcare. If you are looking to train in this field, there has never been a better time.
Irrespective of the area, your daily regime will vary. Allowing you to develop skills and enhance your own learning. All while caring for people and showing compassion, which is a job that is well worth having.