Urology Nurses and Associates Week is sponsored by the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates every year from November 1-7. As this year’s Urology Nurses and Associates Week comes to a close, nurses in the specialty can continue to spread awareness about their specialty and education to help their patients and the general population.
As with any nursing specialty, urology nurses are experts in one area, but the opportunities to practice urology nursing are varied and range from offices to research labs or boardrooms to the halls of government.
Urology nurses work across the lifespan, meaning they can treat patients of any age with urologic symptoms and conditions. The specialty offers nurses direct patient care work while also affording nurses opportunities to become involved in advocacy for urologic nursing processes involving patients and nurses. Urologic nurses are also able to venture into research if they are interested in that path. They are able to use their nursing education and their passion to find more and better treatments and cures for patients who could have conditions including bladder cancer or severe kidney stones.
Urologic nurses may start out with direct patient care in any variety of settings, but the day-to-day work will look different for each nurse. Some will work in an office setting where they will begin to establish relationships with patients and their families. Because some conditions require treatment and care for years, those patients and nurses will begin to develop the close bonds that lead to a trusting professional association. Some nurses may choose to work across several offices and will be able to treat patients of all ages while others find a particular interest in treating specific ages and will be able to choose to work with those populations.
Urology nurses are also needed in surgical units where they will care for patients who are undergoing or recovering from a procedure. These nurses are proficient in pre- and post-op care which includes wound care, pain management, home care, and necessary follow up treatments.
Other roles that are filled by nurses with a urology nursing background include a clinical nurse who might manage patient care in a research study. Nurse educators can use their skills, knowledge, and credentials to teach the next generation of nurses in an academic setting or within a facility. They can also use their commitment to patient health and to wellness and work with local, state, and federal government officials to raise awareness and distribute education about common urological conditions and treatments. They can advocate for increased spending and research in areas of specific interest to their patient population such as those with prostate cancer, recurring urinary tract infections, and some reproductive cancers.
To keep up-to-date with the most current knowledge, urology nurses should continue to gain certification and to acquire knowledge through seminars and readings. Meeting with other urology nurses through an organization like SUNA offers a feeling of professional connection and also personal fulfillment.
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