Being a community nurse is not an easy job and sometimes, not even a very pleasant job but it can be one of the most rewarding and valuable jobs there is. As the name suggests, a community nurse is responsible for nursing in their local area but this doesn’t just include the obvious things associated with being a hands-on nurse.
Community nursing also involves such diverse activities as creating local health promotion and educational programmes, arranging immunisation, screening and other such preventative programmes and even creating and running specialist support groups.It’s not all administrative at all! Community nursing is a very hands on occupation and as well as talking to patients over the telephone they also talk to a lot of people in person. They will be expected to work with children of all ages, from the newly born to adolescents. These will be healthy children just talking about staying healthy and seriously ill ones with existing conditions.
They will work with families, and the elderly, often providing one of the most vital lifelines that the elderly have, making home visits and sometimes, just chatting and drinking tea. They will also work with other local community groups in terms of education and preventative medicine; a community nurse will develop close ties with local youth groups, schools, churches and even local authorities dealing in health, child welfare and social services.
Community nurses have to have strong characters and a lot of physical and emotional stamina. Because of the ever changing nature of the job they have to be flexible and good at dealing with change and unexpected problems. They need to be both independent and good at working in a team and obviously and very importantly they need to like people and be good at working with them.
The community nurse is an often overlooked healthcare professional but is one of the most important people in the community in terms of healthcare.