Becoming a district nurse in the United Kingdom requires more training and education, in addition to the normal registered nurse coursework and examinations. A district nurse promotes healthy lifestyles and health education and tutelage to patients, patient families, and members of the community. Teaming up with volunteer and social groups is the duty of the district nurse, as is organising activities and programs on the behalf of a patient.
A district nurse is a senior nurse in the UK that manages the care of patients within a community, leading a team of nurses and community support workers. The work of a district nurse involves visiting the homes of patients and providing the patient with care and advice. Some of the care a district nurse will provide to the patients in their homes include wound management, medical support, palliative care, and catheter and continence care. Following-up with recently discharged patients is also the duty of a district nurse.
Skills and Training
A district nurse must have the same skills and training as those of a registered nurse. A skill that is mandatory but not taught in school is the ability to cope with potentially challenging situations. Once a registered nurse has taken the required educational courses, she must take specialist practitioner programs to become a district nurse. The program lasts for no less than a year and credit can be given for prior learning or experience. There are four areas the specialist practitioner program concentrates on, which include care and program management, clinical practice leadership, clinical nursing practice and clinical practice development.
Types of Patients
The patients a district nurse cares for can be any age. Most of the time, the patients a district nurse cares for are elderly. Many patients have been discharged from a medical facility, such as a hospital, but still require treatment and care of some sort. Other patients a district nurse is trained to care for include those patients who have physical disabilities or are terminally ill. The district nurse monitors the care and health of the patient and his family.
District nurses do more than treat and care for patients in the community. A district nurse also has the duty of teaching. A district nurse will teach a patient about the various treatments the patient is receiving or about what is available for them. In addition to teaching the patients, the district nurse also teaches the family and friends of the patient about how to properly treat the patient once released from a medical facility's care.
A district nurse has the job of visiting a patient more than once a day. While visiting the patient, a district nurse has the duty of providing support, health and advice. A district nurse can work alone or be paired with various organisations and groups, such as social workers. When a district nurse works with volunteer service, he or she helps to organise and coordinate a wide range of health care services for patients and the community served.