Nurses' roles have evolved over the years. Nowadays, we are not only working in the hospitals, clinics or care homes. We now see nurses making a mark in other non-traditional sectors. What are these non-traditional sectors and what are the opportunities available?
Meet Arlene, an experienced nurse working in the insurance sector.
I am Arlene. I arrived in the UK in 1999 and worked for the NHS for 14 years as an intensive care nurse. Then I decided to work as an agency/locum nurse, working mostly night shifts. When my youngest child has moved up to secondary school, I thought it was time to find a more permanent and stable job. Instead of focusing on the typical nursing roles, I felt the need for change.
Fortunately, I was able to land a role as a Nurse Examiner or an Insurance Nurse with one of the leading insurance companies in the UK. I have been working for the company for more than 2 years- and so far, so good! My role is unique because we are geared on prevention of illnesses and promotion of good health & well-being.
My typical day
No two days are the same. As a Nurse Examiner, we do home visits to our clients. We perform screenings to acquire required medical evidence from clients. These evidence or data are used to help underwriters decide outcome of their application. We, nurse examiners, do not have influence unto the decision of our clients’ application but we play a key role in the business. Through our roles, we help in providing a better client experience and timely processing of their application.
Some would think that our role is similar with a community nurse. Yes, it is as it would require us to travel to our clients’ homes. But it is also different as all our clients are well and most of them are healthy. We visit them to do screening for their insurance application. Depending on their situation and application, the screening processes can vary. It can be as easy as collecting a urine sample, checking their height and weight to doing venepuncture for blood samples.
Typically, I see 4 to 6 clients in a day. My preparation would start before the day of the appointment where I would gather the necessary kits & supplies needed for the screenings. I also call my clients the day before to confirm their appointments. Prior to the pandemic, we also provide wellness days events held in hotels, offices or other communal event places. In these events, we do a taster health screening to our members and provide advise and suggestions on how they could improve their health based on the results they get from the screening. We do these events to encourage them to be healthy.
Having been working in the clinical sector for more than 20 years, I felt that I was breaking out of my comfort zone. The hospital environment has been my territory – I can meet and treat patients comfortably and securely. When I moved to this role, it was initially a challenge for me as I had to travel and visit clients at their homes. Unlike in the hospital, I cannot predict or control my environment. I had to be alert & mindful of my safety, whilst maintaining a professional & friendly composure.
Establishing rapport with our clients is vital in this role however it is not always easy. My role has taught me how to observe, find behavioural cues & communicate well. As ambassadors of our company, we need to ensure that we provide a high-quality customer service. The rapport I build with my clients help me connect with them and sets the best screening experience for our customers.
Driving around London is a challenge especially during peak hours. It can be quite tricky as the city can be unpredictable with never ending roadworks and you will encounter pedestrians, vehicles and even cyclists, all competing for a space on the road. We value the time allotted for us by our customers and so, I manage my time well. It also helps that I am now an expert in finding new short-cuts or routes (where there is less traffic) around the busy streets of the city.
My Benefits of working as a Nurse Examiner
Landing this job is a blessing for me. I feel our company has taken good care of us its nurses. The job comes with a competitive pay and benefits such as performance bonus, something that is not typical in the healthcare industry, a company car and private medical insurance.
Schedule is also different as I am not required to do nights and can also enjoy bank holidays and Christmas holidays! It is a lovely perk of the job as I get to spend these special occasions with my family and friends.
My Advice to those who want to consider a Nurse Examiner role
Being a nurse examiner is not your typical nursing job. If you are looking for a change – whether it’s a change in role, environment, work schedule. This can be a good role for you.
To be successful at this role, first, you need to have good assessment skills. You need to be able to perform to do observations & phlebotomy. Another especially important skill is driving. You will be on the road most of the time. Being competent and safe on the road is important.
Knowing how to communicate well is also vital in this role—from listening, building rapport & managing clients. There will be occasions where you will encounter difficult clients or be in unforeseen situations or get stuck in unexpected traffic. You need to have the patience and ability to think on your feet.
My role as Nurse Examiner gave me a different purpose. Back then, I thought that nurses can only be seen in the traditional environments like hospitals and clinics and are needed to care for the sick.
Roles of nurses have progressed since. From caring for the sick, I now promote & advocate good health. That’s a big change—but a positive change for me.
About the Writer:
For greener, cleaner, and plant-based skin care checkout my web shop- www.tropicskincare.com/arlenesebastian
For bespoke holidays and travel, book or inquire at arlenesebastian.inteletravel.uk
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