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NurChat 28/02/17 Not just a care home nurse - a wealth of knowledge and skills.

A piece in the Nursing Times caught my eye recently. Titled ‘I’m just a care home nurse’, it highlights the complexities of care home nursing and the way in which the role of the nurse differs from that in the NHS. It’s not about one environment being better than the other, but each offers different challenges. Similarly, each appeals in a different way to nurses planning their career path.

In the article Mary Rabitte, a unit care manager, talks about the challenges of the setting and the need for nurses to be competent and knowledgeable decision makers. The longevity of the relationship with their residents makes care home nurses ideally suited to detecting subtle changes in a person’s health, which is in stark contrast with often swift-moving acute settings.

But is care home nursing looked down upon as a second choice nursing career? As with any specialism it’s not for everyone but is there a perception that it’s somehow not the first choice?

In our last #NurChat on the topic of care home nursing vs NHS nursing over 12 months ago, some Nurchatters felt that for a newly qualified nurse to opt for a career in care home nursing carried a certain stigma. But is that perpetuated by a lack of student nurse placements in this area? Has anything changed since we last talked about this subject?

Being a nurse in a care home setting allows for a certain level of autonomy, but also demands confidence to act, especially without an emergency crash-team just seconds away. If we’re not empowering the next generation to work in this way, are we restricting the potential for future generations of care home nurses?

In this #NurChat we’ll be talking about the differences in the working lives of nurses in both care homes and other sectors.

  • How do the various pressures in the healthcare sector impact nurses in different settings?
  • As essential social care services are being cut across the country, what impact is that having on individual settings?
  • Does the stigma still exist that care home nursing is somehow a second choice?

Read back over the discussion here