By Austra Health
Aug 6, 2019
The many benefits of community nursing
The role of a community nurse is incredibly varied, giving those within the profession valuable skills across a range of areas. More than this however, the diversity of the role provides a stimulating and engaging working environment, perfect for those wanting to break out of a hospital-based environment.
Community nurses typically provide care to patients either in their homes or within community programs, servicing people in a range of places and offering care to patients with various illnesses. Many work with people who have disabilities through the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) or provide support to those who have served in the army through the Department of Veteran Affairs (DVA). Both of these can provide enriching and invaluable experiences, combining general care with elements of occupational therapy.
The work involved in community nursing can vary from general nursing to palliative care and providing wound management at home. They not only treat existing health problems, but also focus on helping patients prevent disease and maintain their health.
There are many benefits for people who work in community nursing, one of which is the opportunity to take a more leadership-based role in a patient’s care – something which can be more difficult to achieve in a hospital setting.
In many instances, a community nurse will be one of the primary professional caregiver responsible for the wellbeing of a patient, which not only gives them greater authority and input when it comes to the care plan, but also helps to advance their career by way of experience.
Beyond physical care
While a primary part of the role of a community nurse is to provide physical patient care, their job often extends beyond this to include emotional and educational support. Their patients, families and carers often require emotional support as well so that they can ensure that their loved ones are taken care of.
Teaching carers how to look after their loved ones and showing patients new ways to live a healthier lifestyle and manage their illness is an important part of the role. For a nurse, it can make the job exceptionally fulfilling, and offers a wealth of experience that might otherwise be missing from a hospital setting, where there is generally much less time spent with each patient.
As community nurses work outside the hospital system, they also have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to their working hours and lifestyle. Free of working odd shifts and being restricted to a hospital structure, they often have more autonomy over how they do their job and when. In most instances of community nursing, there is usually no need to work night shifts, which can be a particularly unappealing aspect of hospital work for many nurses.
Good for the community
Community nursing aims to support and maintain patient independence, safety and a healthy lifestyle, while also providing assistance to carers. It is key to ensuring respectful human dignity for patients, a factor that is important for quality patient outcomes, as they can receive care in the comfort of their own home and maintain a degree of independence.
Furthermore, community nursing supports hospitals by way of removing the need to provide as many beds for patients. Many hospitals across Australia regularly struggle to cope with the number of patients versus the number of beds available, and community nursing can assist in relieving this stress.
If you’re looking for an exciting opportunity to work as a nurse outside the hospital environment and take advantage of the benefits of community nursing, get in touch. Our experienced consultants can help find the right opportunity for you.