Careers for Nurses Who Like Working in the Community

Careers for Nurses Who Like Working in the Community

Hospitals remain the top employers for nurses, but they are certainly not the only places where nurses can find a fulfilling career. Some may find that their true passion is in helping others outside the confines of an inpatient setting. And luckily, that is possible. There is a great need nowadays for compassionate and skilled nurses who can serve people in the community setting. Listed here are just a few examples of specialty areas in community health that nurses may want to consider.

Hospice and Palliative Care Nursing

Hospice nurses provide comfort-focused care to patients who have a life expectancy of six months or less. Palliative care, though sometimes used interchangeably with hospice, is slightly different in that patients do not necessarily have to be in the terminal phase of their disease process. Palliative care nurses care for seriously ill individuals who are dealing with discomfort as a result of chronic diseases or treatments used to manage these diseases. Regardless of the technical differences between them, both hospice and palliative care nurses specialize in symptom management. Rather than focusing on curing patients, hospice and palliative care nurses promoting comfort, which may involve managing chronic pain, respiratory distress, or nausea, among other things. While some hospice and palliative patients are cared for in hospitals, many also receive care in their homes.

Infusion Nursing

If you are skilled with IVs, then you might consider working as an infusion nurse. Infusion nurses start and maintain various kinds of intravenous lines. Not only do they administer medications, but they also provide monitoring for their patients to make sure that treatments are effective and are not causing any adverse effects. Those who have had a lot of experience with IVs in the hospital setting might find this type of nursing appealing. Many companies, including home health agencies and pharmacies, are hiring skilled nurses who can provide infusions to patients in the community.

Wound Care Nursing

Wound care nursing is a specialty area for nurses who have a passion for helping patients afflicted with wounds, some of whom have chronic and debilitating injuries that put them at high risk for infections. Among the people who require the services of wound care nurses include bedbound patients, diabetics, patients with chronic circulation problems, and patients who have had accidents or surgeries. If you are interested in this kind of nursing, you may also want to consider getting some type of certification in wound care nursing. Your expertise will be valued by many organizations and you may see patients in their homes as a traveling consultant for durable medical equipment companies and healthcare agencies that specialize in wound treatment.

Worker’s Compensation Nursing

Getting injured at work can affect one’s life in many ways. Depending on its severity, workplace-related injuries may affect more than just one’s physical health. Losing the ability to work can also cause mental and financial strain. As a worker’s compensation nurse, you will have the opportunity to help these individuals get their life back on track. You will have the role of a case manager who will ensure that your patients get the high-quality treatment necessary to restore them to their highest level of function.

Nurse Educators

When you think of an educator, you may picture someone who is in a classroom, lecturing and scribbling notes on a chalkboard. While nurses do teach in academic settings, there are also nurse educators who work in the community. These are nurses who may work for pharmaceutical or medical equipment companies that are selling highly technical products. The job of nurse educators, in these cases, is to assist other health care providers in understanding how these products work so that they can be safely utilized in clinical settings.

Public Health Nursing

Public health nurses wear many hats. They may go out and educate communities about preventing the spread of certain types of diseases. They may go into clinics to provide vaccinations. Other times, public health nurses may visit people in their homes to ensure that they are living under humane and sanitary conditions. In some cases, they may also function as medical case managers for underserved individuals in the community. Whatever they do, the main role of public health nurses is to safeguard and promote the health and well-being of the communities they serve.

One of the beauties of the nursing profession is the sheer diversity of available opportunities. Inpatient settings, like hospitals, are just one of the many places where nurses can share their talents and make a difference. Nurses have a lot of freedom in shaping the course of their careers and if you are looking for a change of pace, now could be your chance to do so. Who knows, you just might find your calling as a community health nurse.

Traditional Foods Bridge Health and Community

Traditional Foods Bridge Health and Community

The first week of February is known for celebrating African Heritage and Health. The nonprofit nutrition- and food-focused group Oldways kicks off the beginning of Black History Month, with a focus on the nutritious foods that celebrate heritage, community, and nutrition.

The varied foods that make up traditional African Heritage Diet food pyramid is based on a healthy, traditional selection filled with lots of fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, and grains.

As sponsors of African Heritage and Health Week, Oldways helps spread the word about healthful eating that honors traditional foods and the importance of community. Foods in the pyramid, which, according to Oldways, was developed in 2011, also honor “distinct flavors and traditions of four major regions of the African Diaspora—West and Central Africa, the American South, the Caribbean, and South America.”

Bringing these distinct flavors into food preparation can help individuals feel connected to their larger community or to family far away. And when food, flavors, and traditions are all celebrated, individual dining can easily become more of a community event. People all over use this week to cook traditional and familiar dishes based on their own family and culture, but they also use the week to try out new foods and new ways of preparing familiar ingredients.

Inviting others to share a meal, to come to a potluck, or to even bring favorite traditional foods to school, work, or a neighbor’s house brings a community closer together and helps build the kind of networks and supports that many people miss in our modern busy world. How beneficial it is when people find they can rely on foods and recipes that have been made for generations to help them continue on a path to their best personal health.

If cooking traditional foods interests you, this kind of celebration might inspire you and your friends or family to take a cooking class. Or if you are a cooking pro and have a few traditional dishes that are your go-to dishes, you can invite people to join an informal class that you lead. Building connections around food and traditions is a direct way to feeling like you’re part of a bigger story. Maybe your ancestors come from the Caribbean but you’ve never left New York state—cooking foods that your ancestors might have prepared links you to them in ways that can spark your imagination.

And preparing some of these traditional, healthy foods—the kind that rely on whole foods with few, if any, processed ingredients—is a boon to your health. Experimenting with new spices, broths, ingredients, and preparation will bring out flavors that are fun and fresh and help you keep a healthy diet. Your body will be nourished from the ingredients and as you share your food or take a meal with others, your emotional self will be soothed.

If you’re not of African heritage, you can still use this week to learn more about African heritage and health or how your own ancestors might have cooked. Take some time to try a new recipe your great-grandparents would recognize. Even better, host a potluck and ask your guests to prepare one dish that is based on their heritage. You might find you have a new tradition—and a new stack of delicious—and meaningful—recipes.