Who's a Nurse?
The nurse is an integral part of the healthcare sector, as they focus on assisting patients during their physical or mental health recovery. As a nurse, you will be assisting doctors with surgeries, recovering patients or those being treated in Intensive Care Units. You will also be the link between the patients and the doctor. As a nurse, you would be expected to follow through on the treatment plan prescribed by the doctor and ensure timely delivery of medicines, injections, etc. Nursing special patients such as mentally or physically challenged patients, those in palliative care or those who are terminally ill, require special training and qualities. While this may seem like a female-dominated profession, there are plenty of opportunities for all genders.
What will you do?
Administering medication to the patients
As a nurse, you will have to give the patients their medicines and injections regularly.
Performing physical checks and recording the patients’ medical history
You will do the initial physical check-up of the patient, note the vitals and medical history before handing them to the doctor.
Communicating patient woes or requirements to the doctor
As the link between the doctor and the patient, you will have to relay any information that the patient wants to tell the doctor.
Offering emotional support to the patients
Besides attending to the medical needs of patients, you will also be required to provide them with emotional support.
Recording and reporting symptoms of the patient
You will make a note of all the symptoms or changes seen in the patient on a regular basis and inform the doctor as and when required.
Manage the medical inventory needed in the OT or Patient Care Rooms
You will keep a check on the inventory and place orders for medicines, equipment and other material whenever needed.
Maintaining a hygienic and clean environment
You will have to ensure that the OT or patient care rooms are absolutely clean and maintained well.
Where will you work?
This is the place that immediately comes to our mind when we think of the nursing profession. There are many areas within a hospital where nurses are engaged. For example in the Emergency Room, the General Wards, Intensive Care Units (ICU), in the Operation Theatres (OT) assisting in surgeries, in the Nurses Training School - training new recruits, etc.
In smaller clinics, nurses assist the consulting physician in receiving patients, handling the registration, obtaining the patient history, helping with dressing or bandaging of wounds, noting the vitals such as blood pressure, oxygen levels, temperature, administering any medication, injections etc.
If a patient is being treated for an illness, or recovering from an illness, or requires palliative care, or end-of-life care at home, they require 24-hour nursing support, which cannot be handled by the family members. In such cases, full-time or part-time nurses are employed by the family to take care of the patient until the patient recovers.
Nursing Care Facilities
A nursing home facility may be the best choice for people who require 24-hour medical care and supervision on a long-term basis. Nursing homes offer the most extensive care a person can get outside a hospital. Such facilities offer help with custodial care -- like bathing, getting dressed, and eating -- as well as skilled care. Skilled nursing care is given by a registered nurse and includes medical monitoring and treatments.
The primary role of community health nurses is to provide treatment to patients. Additionally, community health nurses offer education to the community members about maintaining their health so that they can decrease the occurrence of diseases and deaths. This could be through educational sessions, give out informational brochures, conduct health screenings, dispense medications and administer immunizations.
Nurses are employed in military hospitals or clinics where the patients are primarily the injured or sick military personnel. Such nurses have to be appropriately qualified and are employed and trained by the Defence Organization and are not general nurses.
How do you get there?
What skills would you need?
AdaptabilityAs a marketer, you will deal with different types of customers. You could be working with a manufacturing company that sells paper to businesses, or a company that sells chips to the masses. Your skill will be measured by how you deal with different consumers.
As a marketer, you will work on different platforms to communicate with people. If you don’t understand how they work, you won’t be able to come up with the best strategy. You will also use various kinds of software like Google Adwords, MailChimp, SurveyMonkey, etc., during your promotions. You need to know how they work, and how to use them to your advantage.build this skill
Patients will be coming to you with different issues with fertility. You must be able to assess their problem, analyse the reason and work on coming up with a solution.build this skill
It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, what with so much information being thrown at them. But, people cannot resist a good story. Every good marketing campaign has a story to tell their customers and relate to them on an emotional level. Marketers who tell great stories through their marketing campaigns are always in great demand.build this skill
Attention to Detail
Working with eggs and embryos is a very tedious task. Every little detail matters when you are observing them. If you are good at giving attention to detail, then your job at the laboratory will be made much easier.build this skill
How do you make it to the top ranks?
Pursuing your career locally VS abroad
The Union Health Ministry data reveals that there are only 1.7 nurses per 1000 people in India which is a disappointing figure compared to the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) prescribed standard of minimum 3 nurses per 1000 citizens. At present, India is facing the second-largest shortage of nurses in the world after Bangladesh. So there is a pressing need for more nurses within the country. There are many good nursing colleges within the country such as AIIMS, Delhi; CMC Vellore; JIPMER, Puducherry, AFMC, Pune to name a few. All of them offer B.Sc and M.Sc (Nursing) courses. Approximate total course fees for B.Sc. (nursing) range from INR 7,000 to INR 80,000, depending on the institution.
There is very good job scope for nurses overseas, with nurses featuring in the long term skill shortage list in many of the developed countries such as Canada, UK, Australia, USA, New Zealand, Ireland etc. You can expect impressive starting salaries of around £24,000 (INR 24,00,000) per year in the UK and around $48,000 (INR 35,00,000) in the USA. Registered nurses and those with B.Sc or M.Sc (nursing) with at least 1 year of experience can apply to work in these countries after appearing in the qualifying tests. English proficiency is important so you will need to clear the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), or Occupational English Test (OET). Application requirements vary from country to country. In Canada, RN applicants must successfully complete the NCLEX-RN and the RN/RPN Jurisprudence Examination among other requirements. Those who plan to study nursing in the USA have many great options with top colleges such as The University of Illinois Chicago College of Nursing (UICCN), The Penn School of Nursing of the University of Pennsylvania, and The University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA) to name a few. In the UK some of the best colleges are the University of Edinburgh, Cardiff University, University of Liverpool, Queen Margaret University, the University of Glasgow among others. Courses are usally costly. For example, total fees per semester are around $16,000 (INR 12,00,000) at the UICCN. Fees for a Bachelor of Nursing course at the University of Edinburgh is around £28,950 (INR 30,00,000) per year for international students.
How much would you get paid?
Nursing salary packages increase with increasing experience. The more industry experience you gain, the more skilled nurse you become.
What are your career options?
Health Services Manager
This role involves directing the overall operations of a medical facility. You will be expected to hire staff, prepare budgets, track spending, oversee patient billing, and make sure that all policies and procedures comply with relevant regulations. Additional training specifically in healthcare management will be an added advantage.
Nursing Informatics Specialist
If you have an inclination towards IT, you can consider a career as a nursing informatics specialist, which leverages both nursing knowledge as well as technical expertise. Nursing informatics specialists aim to use information processes and technology to manage health data and support the work of nurses. The goal is to use data to streamline operations, reduce costs, and improve patient outcomes. It’s important to have strong skills in information technology. You can also consider pursuing a masters programme in Nursing Informatics.
Burn Unit Nurse
A Burn Unit Nurse would work in a hospital that specialises in the treatment of burn victims. You would work with a team to stabilize burn victims, prevent organ failure and infection, and achieve healing. You would need to care for patients who require ventilation, work to alleviate their pain, provide wound care, aid skin regeneration, and prevent further complications.
The focus of a community nurse is to involve a local community in educating them about health risks and preventative measures. As a community nurse, you would teach patients and their families about diseases, carry out various controlling and preventative measures. You would also be actively involved in advocacy and public health policy development to address social justice issues. In the current pandemic situation, community nurses are required to facilitate vaccination of eligible persons, ensuring quarantining of infected patients, etc.
Epidemics Research Nurse
As an epidemics research nurse, you would work in research laboratories, hospitals, and medical clinics to administer vaccines, check lab work and assess patients’ overall health during epidemics.
Occupational Health Nurse
Occupational health nurses maintain employee health and safety within an organization and create plans for health-related work events. The practise focuses on promotion and restoration of health, prevention of illness and injury, and protection from work-related and environmental hazards for the employees of the organization. You would often need to participate in organizational and regulatory audits and health and safety committees.