Updated: May 27
Nurses are generally seen in hospitals and care facilities. But do you know that there are also nurses who are working in other specialised sectors. There are nurses who are also providing care at the comfort of patient’s own homes. They are what we call “community nurse” OR “district nurses”. Community nurses play a key role in the UK’s health care system.
Read the story of Noelli, a Filipino UK Nurse, who has moved from working in a respiratory ward to a Community nurse in a private healthcare sector.
After years of working as a respiratory nurse, I felt the need for a change. I did not know where to go to next but I was looking at other roles within the hospital. But one day, a recruiter called me and offered a Community Nurse role. It is not what I was initially looking for, but I thought it can be a good change. And so, I attended the interview and got a job offer.
Now, I am a community Nurse for a private health care company. What do I do as a Community Nurse?
I render nursing services to people at the comfort of their own homes. I go to people’s houses and do various nursing care procedure that can be safely done at their houses. Procedures vary from Intravenous medication administration to wound dressing care and suture removals. I also do information dissemination and place a strong emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.
As I have been doing this role for months now, I have now started to create a routine. The day before my scheduled visits, I will start with the preparations. I will go through my list, review my patient’s health history, prepare the things I need for the visits and plan my journey. I try to finish all preparations a day before so that I would not feel stressed on the day of my visits.
I normally have 5-6 patients a day. I would usually start at 8AM and on a busy day, can finish at 8PM. But with proper planning & time management, you can finish the work early. Procedures that I need to do with each patient vary. Most of the time, we get a lot of requests for wound dressing, suture removals, intramuscular (IM), subcutaneous (SQ) injections and blood specimen collections.
Coming from a hospital setting or a controlled environment and moving to a community-based role can be initially daunting. I felt anxious at first especially knowing that I am going to people’s houses and would not have a team to rely on if I need help. But my company has ensured that we have the right safety policies and protocols in place. Also, before patients are booked for a visit, they are properly screened and triaged. We were also given a “safety device” that tracks our location and can easily trigger help/emergency services should we need one. These gave me an assurance that I can safely do my job as a Community nurse.
This role has taught me to how to become more organised, resilient, and independent. I have learned a few skills that I never get to do before. Aside from my technical skills, it also has helped me become more confident in dealing with people. As a community nurse, it is imperative that you know how to effectively communicate whilst demonstrating sensitivity to the needs of the patients.
Community Nursing is not your conventional Nursing job. It was also not included in the list of roles I would consider before. But I am glad I took the plunge and considered this role. It is a new road for me and excited to take on the new challenge.
About the Author: Noelli has been a nurse for more than 10 years, started in a respiratory ward and now as a Community Nurse in a private health care sector. She loves travelling & experiencing different cultures, cuisines and meeting people.