Nursing is a challenging and rewarding occupation, requiring long hours and a dedicated focus while offering people who answer the call the opportunity to make a real difference in patients’ lives. While many Nursing careers are found inside hospital walls, there is a wide range of settings that a Nurse can choose as a workplace.
Most hospitals will try to discharge patients within a few days of treatment. Doctors and Nurses may ask patients to follow specific instructions upon their arrival at home, including taking prescriptions, monitoring symptoms or filling out paperwork. Patients who have undergone major surgery or battled with serious conditions may need additional care, beyond the day they are discharged from the hospital.
In the home, Nurses may conduct physical assessments, administer medications and check the patient’s understanding of his condition and treatment plan. They can also clear the environment of any obstacles to mobility or physical health. They help the patient and their family to understand the progress of conditions or diseases, giving them advice to effectively treat the disease.
An emerging field in the healthcare landscape, holistic health involves caring for the “whole person” in order to meet wellness goals. To take on patients in this line of work, Nurses need to account for the body, mind and spirit of a person. This could mean that treatment will include a variety of therapies. or it could mean that the patient will interact with a wide range of healthcare professionals, from therapists to masseuses or acupuncturists.
Nurses in holistic health work with a patient to form a treatment plan for their physical and psychological needs, while taking into account the person’s values, environmental concerns, social activities and anything else that may affect that person’s quality of life.
Hospice and Palliative Care
Another option for Nurses to work outside of hospital walls is hospice care or palliative care. Focused primarily on the end of life, this work puts Nurses in the home to care for patients who are elderly and near death or for patients who have a serious disease who are approaching the end of their life. In most instances, the goal of this type of Nursing is to make the patient comfortable in their dying days.
Nurses who work in hospice or palliative care may be on-call for 24 hours and they are often primarily concerned with managing pain. They spend a lot of time interacting with families and loved ones about the patient’s condition. Hospice care occurs when a patient’s condition or disease cannot be cured, so the focus is on managing the symptoms and giving the patient the best quality of life possible through the end of their life.
School and Camp Nurses
Many Nurses are needed to work in public and charter schools, and even on college campuses. The role of the Nurse will differ depending on what type of school they choose, but these Nurses work during the school day to take care of accidents, injuries and health emergencies that happen while a student is at school. In some cases, Nurses may work with special education students, responding to the needs of the student’s disability, as well as administering general care in a school setting.
For another chance to interact with students, Nurses can sign up to be camp Nurses, working at camps of every size and style during the warmer months. While some camp Nurses will be focused on daily needs, other Nurses may attend camps that challenge students in high-risk environments, where students could be injured during activities like rock climbing or mountain biking. In order to serve these camps well, Nurses need to be able to handle serious emergencies that happen on camp grounds, which are often located in a remote area.
Insurance companies also hire Nurses, offering careers in a range of positions. Nurses who work at insurance companies may hold positions as a Case Manager, a Nurse Educator or a Consultant, to name a few. In these positions, Nurses work with members of the insurance company to make sure they understand their disease, treatment plan, and the policies and procedures of the insurance company.
Filling the gap between when a patient leaves a hospital and when they arrive home, these Nurses offer guidance and assist with care at every stage in the process. Depending on the position, they may assist with major healthcare decisions, or spend a lot of time with a patient, ensuring they are getting the proper treatment and care.
Outside of the hospital, there are many career options available for qualified Nurses. The positions in these other areas can be just as rewarding, while offering Nurses the opportunity with work with diverse patients in a variety of settings.