If you are considering a career as a nurse, you could potentially end up working in any area of the NHS, as well as privately: nurses work throughout the health service at all levels, providing support to patients with all needs and conditions.
To help you make informed choices, whether you’re a potential nurse or a potential patient, let’s look at four different ways nurses work within the NHS.
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1) Mental Health Nursing
With as many as one in three people suffering a mental health issue over the course of their lives, mental health nurses are there to support a huge number of the population. Your duties could include making sure patients are taking their medication correctly, advising relatives about support programmes available, and making sure a patient leaving the ward has the all support they need and knows the next steps to follow as they become an outpatient.
2) Nurse Consultant
Among the highest paid nurses in the NHS, Consultant Nurses are relatively new invention. This job was created to provide more career development for senior ward sisters, and keep the best nurses within the NHS. This represents the potential pinnacle of a career as a hospital nurse.
Clinical work remains a focus for the consultant nurse, but in addition to treating patients Nurse Consultants organise clinics, and help to set policy and direction for the hospital in which they are placed. They can be extremely influential but also have to balance directly helping patients with a more diplomatic sensibility needed to deal with management throughout the hospital.
3) Learning Disability Nurses
This can be a very rewarding role. The main focus of this job is to work with people who have learning disabilities, and their carers and find ways to help them live a more independent life. Learning Disability nurses work in varied settings, not just hospitals but also mental health trusts, adult education centres, and community centres among others.
4) Community Nurses
Community nursing jobs are often more varied than those based in a hospital. As the name implies they are based in the community, and do a lot of visiting for patients who are unable to come into a GP surgery or have particular needs that need to be assessed in their own home. They also assess the level of care given by other healthcare professionals to ensure it’s adequate, and coordinate a better service where necessary.