Practice nurses refer to nurses who work in the general practitioner or GP setting. The responsibilities of practice nurses are very broad. Practice nurses play roles in various steps of the medical process. They are also involved in caring for people of different ages, from infants to older people. Practice nurses typically work as a team.
The core of the practice nurses job is to provide information and assistance to patients who are in need of them. As a practice nurse, it is important that you are knowledgeable about most common ailments. It is also the practice nurses responsibility to find out about the medical history of the patient. Even before the patients are checked by doctors, the nurses can already conduct the initial check ups. This means that they need to perform tasks such as taking blood and urine samples, cleaning of wounds, dressing of wounds, and so on. Some nurses can also be specially informed about certain medical fields, and be knowledgeable enough to give advices about blood pressure, blood sugar levels, heart conditions, and other information.
Practice nurses typically work in a clinic setting. These clinics can vary in kind. A nurse can work in a maternity clinic, and be faced with responsibilities and duties such as giving contraceptive advice, conducting pregnancy tests, and the likes. For those working in pediatric clinics, practice nurses are responsible for the injections and vaccinations as well. Practice nurses who work in the emergency units are responsible for administering first aid for the patients. After everything, the practice nurses are also responsible for the maintenance and cleanliness of the clinic itself.
Aside from their expertise and skills, practice nurses are also valued for the information and advice that they can provide. It is their responsibility to advise the patients regarding their treatments and to assist patients through the completion of their treatments. In case the patients have a question about their treatments, it is the practice nurses responsibility to come to their aid. It is thus part of their job to keep a record of each patients treatment, especially if there are any special conditions that should be dealt with carefully.
To become a practice nurse, formal nursing education and academic training is naturally necessary. On top of that, practice nurses should be duly registered nurses. The final step is yet another training to ensure that they are prepared for the actual clinic setting. Since practice nurses can also conduct minor operations, due training is very important.
Aside from knowledge and skills, a practice nurse should also be equipped with the right mix of traits needed for the job. A practice nurse should be flexible, since practice nurses can be faced with different tasks, as the occasion calls for. Aside from that, since they will be working closely with different patients and relatives, they should also have good communication and people skills.
The practice nurse can move up the ladder and become a senior nurse. Nurses can also be assigned with their own cases, which they will supervise and handle. Only nurses at the practitioner level will be faced with such responsibilities. As the nurse goes higher up the ladder, the more immersed he or she will become in more aspects of medicine and the practice.