Directly caring for patients and working to improve people’s health status is what nurses do. They do this in many different kinds of settings and positions.
Hospital Care Nursing
Hospital nurses care for patients of all ages, with all kinds of illnesses and health problems that need immediate attention or treatment. They work on specific kinds of units – ER, medical, surgical, diagnostic, obstetrical, intensive care or the operating room to name a few. Patients may be admitted to the hospital as part of their treatment plan or as the result of an emergency. Acute care hospitals are always open, so nurses are needed 24 hours per day.
There are several different kinds of acute care hospitals – community hospitals are located within local communities; regional hospitals serve several adjoining communities, teaching hospitals are affiliated with nursing and medical schools. Many hospitals participate in nursing and medical research projects.
Home Care Nursing
Home care nurses provide care to patients at home. It is the skill, expertise and ability of the home care nurse to use and manage advancing technology that allows home care to happen. Chemotherapy, phototherapy for infants, ventilator care, infusion therapy, and hospice are just some of the highly complex health care services that can be delivered at home.
The advanced care needs of many patients demand nurses with advanced skills. Many home care nurses have worked in hospital intensive care units, operating rooms, and emergency units before coming to home care. They are coming to home care because it offers them the opportunity to use their advanced nursing skills and knowledge to provide one on one care to patients of all ages.
Long Term Care Nursing
Long term care Registered Nurses and Licensed Practical Nurses provide services in nursing homes, assisted living residences, continuing care retirement communities, and home and community-based programs. Long-term care nurses offer bedside care, assess patient needs, and develop care plans. They also supervise and train staff.
Long-term care nurses use their skills to meet the complex clinical needs of their residents. Some people need long-term care or rehabilitative care after surgery or a major illness. Others need long-term care because they are frail, elderly, or have chronic health conditions that prevent them from being fully independent. Long-term care nurses understand the unique care needs of their residents and make a real difference in the lives of the elderly and disabled residents for whom they care.
Occupational Health Nursing
Occupational and Environmental Health Nursing is the practice of promoting and protecting the health of the work force from exposure to the myriad of hazards in the work and home environments. The primary focus is on providing direct care to individuals in a work setting. Occupational Health Nursing deals with the health effects associated with chemical, biological and physical agents in air, water, soil and food, which may be present in the home, school, community or workplace environments.
Occupational Health Nurses (OHN’s) work in every variety of work settings from manufacturing shops and mills, to hospitals, research facilities, postal services, universities and clinics. OHN’s work with other health care providers to support health promotion programs in the workplace and develop initiatives and worker training for early identification and prevention of health problems. Examples of activities common to Occupational Health Nursing include: clinical services, biological surveillance, health promotion and education programs, screening clinics, drug and alcohol screening, company policy development, CPR and AED program implementation and development of site emergency response plans and actions.
Occupational Health Nurses are usually hired by individual companies as employees or as consultants to help protect their greatest asset – their employees, by providing preventative measures to assure a healthy workforce.
Public Health Nursing
Public health nursing is the practice of promoting and protecting the health of populations. The primary focus is not on providing direct care to individuals in a community setting but rather on promoting, assessing and assuring the health of the entire population.
Public health nurses work with other health care providers to support existing systems and programs in the community and plan and develop initiatives to prevent health problems and provide access to care. Examples of community services that public health nurses provide include: clinical services, communicable disease surveillance and outreach, immunizations, health education programs, policy promotion, and development of emergency response plans and actions.
These type of nurses are typically hired by individual communities or regions to assist with providing preventative measures to assure healthy communities in a time of ever changing public health issues.
List of Other Possible Nurse Work Settings
- Medical Offices
- Businesses and Corporate America
- Mental Health Agencies
- The Military
- Insurance Companies
- Pharmaceutical Companies
- Medical Device Companies
- Medical Software Companies
- Research Centers
- Governmental Agencies
- Law Firms
- Medical Flight and Transport
- Movie Sets