Nursing roles in adult social care
Nursing is one of the most revered and respected professions in the country. It’s a job for which the qualities ‘compassion’, ‘caring’ and ‘empathy’ were coined for. It’s also a role that many of us will think we already know rather well through visits to hospitals or watching medical dramas. And while there is truth in what we know, there is far more diversity, career potential and opportunity in the nursing profession than ever before. Perhaps you might be perfectly suited for it?
In this role, you would work closely with social care colleagues to deliver high-quality care that not only promotes well-being but also protects people from pain and discomfort. Your responsibilities will include listening to patients’ concerns, conducting examinations, monitoring their progress, dressing wounds, and administering medication. This position primarily involves indoor work, but it may also include home visits and various other settings.
In many care homes, care is provided by qualified nurses who have responsibilities such as managing an individual’s healthcare plan, educating others about healthcare practices, including infection prevention, and administering medication. You will work in close coordination with doctors, pharmacists, and healthcare agencies to make a positive impact on people’s quality of life. This may involve helping people maintain their independence, enhance their fitness, or manage pain and illness.
Learning Disability Nurse
In this specific nursing role you would support people of all ages who have learning disabilities. This would involve assisting with everyday tasks as needed, in order to allow your patients to live as independently as possible. You would also play an important role as an adviser to clients’ families and carers, maintaining good contact and reducing the stress and worry of close family members.
The relationship with your patient begins with assessing and understanding their health and social care needs. These will be wide-ranging depending on their individual circumstances, but could include physical disabilities, mental health problems, as well as difficulties with sight, speech or hearing. You would be tasked with providing them with the specialist healthcare they need, while ensuring they have access to any additional treatments or therapies.
Your day-to-day tasks might range from shopping trips and attending appointments to taking your patients to community centres to enjoy leisure interests or physical exercise.
As with all nursing roles, patience and sensitivity to your client’s needs are of paramount importance, no matter how testing the situation might become. The opportunity to gain experience and develop is fantastic, with every likelihood that you could be mentoring and supervising support workers, and even offering advice to the wider healthcare team.
Mental Health Nurse
This nursing role is about caring for people with mental health problems. You will be expected to help your patients get the support they need, aid them on their recovery journey and help them to adapt to their condition and the impact it may have on their lives going forward.
In addition, you will be supporting not just patients but their families too. They may be struggling to come to terms with the effects of a particular condition and will look to you as a trusted and empathetic source of information and advice.
Mental health covers a broad range of conditions from anxiety and depression to eating disorders and addiction, and you will have to help your patients negotiate a path to a better outcome. You may work in a hospital or out in the community, both with individuals and groups.
As with all nursing roles, patience and sensitivity to your clients’ needs are of paramount importance. Your role with each patient would begin with an assessment of their situation. The ability to empathise and listen are crucial qualities in order for you to support your patients and encourage them to stick to treatment plans. That trust will help them take part in other activities like drama, art and discussions on a range of topics.
Helping your patients deal with other individuals and parties like housing officials, charities or the police is another key responsibility. This will also involve you liaising with other healthcare professionals like psychiatrists and health visitors.