What is a practice nurse and how to become one
If you’re looking into practice nursing, we have outlined the common roles and responsibilities, the skills and qualities that are needed, along with information on how to become a practice nurse with Thornbury Nursing Services. We have also outlined the practice nursing placements that we currently have available across England and Wales.
What does a practice nurse do?
As a practice nurse, you’re often the first person a patient will see and are a vital point of contact.
You’re involved in planning and providing care, including screening, diagnosing and treating patients for a wide range of conditions. You help patients to manage long-term health issues such as high blood pressure or leg ulcers. Giving routine immunisations or holiday vaccinations and treating minor wounds form part of the role too.
Practice nurses are also responsible for educating people of all ages. Your work will include educating patients on preventing disease and advising them on how to adopt a healthier lifestyle. On a typical busy day, you’ll see a wide range of patients. You may also supervise healthcare assistants at the practice. No two days are the same, with responsibilities including:
- Advising patients about contraception and fitting intrauterine devices (IUDs)
- Assessing patients to diagnose and treat health issues
- Carrying out electrocardiograms (ECGs) to monitor heart activity
- Communicating with the rest of the healthcare team, including hospital specialists, to update them on a patient’s progress
- Carrying out routine child immunisations, and essential vaccinations for adults
- Giving first aid treatment such as dressings
- Screening patients by carrying out blood or urine tests, physical examinations, cervical smears, and pregnancy tests
- Supporting people to stop smoking or to manage long-term conditions such as asthma or diabetes
- Administering vaccinations at the GP practice or in the community
- Treating minor injuries
- Updating patients’ notes and keeping accurate records
Where do practice nurses work?
Practice nurses work within local GP practices, hospitals, clinics and health centres. You might work alone or, where there is a larger community, as part of a team. In some cases, you may go into people’s homes to treat patients, into schools or into community centres to offer advice or carry out vaccinations.
Thornbury practice nurses also work in the NHS and private hospitals, as well as in flu clinics and screening centres for employers and universities.
What skills and qualities does a practice nurse need?
As a practice nurse, you’ll be dealing with patients from all walks of life, each with their unique issues and healthcare needs. Essential skills and qualities for you to possess include:
- Excellent communication skills
- Patience, compassion, and kindness
- The ability to work independently and under pressure
- Non-judgmental and a good listener
- Flexibility and adaptability
- Good record-keeping
You’ll also need to feel confident carrying out many different clinical procedures.
How to become a practice nurse
To become a practice nurse with Thornbury Nursing, you’ll need the following:
- To be qualified and registered as a nurse in the UK
- To have the ability to carry out core treatment room skills
- Have a minimum of 12 months of experience in the last 18 months
You’ll also need to be able to work to our company expectations. At Thornbury Nursing, we work with nurses who can pick up last-minute shifts, have sound clinical skills and can easily integrate into new teams. If this sounds like you, register your interest in joining our team.
Why become a practice nurse?
As more care moves from hospitals to the local community, there are more and more opportunities to work as a practice nurse in the UK. Here are just some of the benefits of working as a practice nurse:
- You will have a vital and positive effect on your local community
- You will have a high level of autonomy
- You will carry out a variety of roles and responsibilities
- You will have the ability to work with a diverse range of patients
There are also several career progression opportunities available in practice nursing, including senior nursing as well as management-focused or clinically specialised roles.
Practice nurse opportunities at Thornbury Nursing
As a practice nurse with Thornbury Nursing, you are able to work flexibly and have an opportunity to earn higher rates of pay than full-time permanent staff, along with being able to broaden your skills and develop your career.
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