Urology nurses are the nurses who care for patients with a range of conditions and diseases that impact the urologic system.
This week highlights the care these nurses give with Urology Nurses and Associates Week running from November 1-7. Sponsored by the Society of Urologic Nurses and Associates (SUNA), the week offers a time to recognize this particular area of nursing while also calling attention to urologic conditions.
According to the American Medical Association, urology covers conditions of the urinary tract, the reproductive tract of males, urinary tract infections, cancer, incontinence, reconstructive urology, urogynecology, stones in the urinary tract, and some aspects of male and female infertility.
Urology nurses may treat adult or pediatric cases and may see cases from the routine to the exceedingly complex. They are called on to help men and women who present with sexual dysfunction or to help those with congenital conditions. They may assist with surgical procedures or with continual care of chronic conditions.
As a urology nurse, education is an important job responsibility. Nurses are a patient’s first resource for managing, coping with, and treating a condition. Patients turn to nurses to find out how to prevent a urinary tract infection, how to manage a catheter, or what kind of recovery they face after urologic surgery.
Within this role of educator, nurses can help patients manage expectation of healing, understand any prescriptions, or activity restrictions, and understand what is happening to their bodies. Urology nurses can help patients’ families learn how to help with the care and healing process as well. Minority nurses in the field are especially important as the more they understand the culture of a patient, including dietary traditions, the better they can help them heal.
Urology nurses are also the best ambassadors for this area of nursing. The Urology Nurses and Associates Week is a good time to celebrate with colleagues, and it’s also an opportunity to learn more and help educate others about what you do. You can send a photo of your team to the local paper with a short explanation of your success or how you care for people.
You can also take your voice public. Think of ways you can work in your community or on a wider platform to promote better policies to protect nurses and patients. Become a member of a professional nursing organization in your specialty, like SUNA, and volunteer your time to make an impact in whatever way you can.
Any nurse is committed to lifelong learning, so seek out ways to learn more. Become certified in urology nursing if you have not already. Take courses or sign up for webinars with your healthcare organization to refresh your knowledge on any area of nursing. Decide to become the go-to person in your unit on treating a specific condition and learn all you can to make that a reality. Take on leadership roles within your local nursing association chapter so you can develop agendas that keep urology nursing at the forefront of healthcare priorities.
And be sure to take a moment and think of how your hard work changes the lives of the patients in your care. Urologic issues often hold a certain level of embarrassment for some patients, so the compassionate and empathetic care urology nurses give is meaningful and will be remembered.