At a time when professionals working within the care arena are faced with the prospect of having to do more for less thanks, in part, to budget cuts across the board, many are reassessing their current positions and seeing what career opportunities are available within the health arena. So what are the top nursing roles we are seeing at the moment and what do they entail?
Telephone Triage - Whether it’s working in nursing for the 111 service or another private provider, the role of the telephone triage nurse is not only very varied, but also incredibly fulfilling. Triage nurses are often the first port of call for a patient or a family member seeking immediate help. The professionals are responsible for taking calls and assessing the situation of a patient almost instantly – something that is often very challenging. This is largely because the nurses don’t have the opportunity to physically assess their patient and instead make decisions based on what the person on the other end of the phone is describing.
Consequently, anyone seeking this sort of role needs to possess excellent communication skills, be able to think on their feet, and remain calm under often challenging situations. And because the majority of telephone triage services are available 24 hours a day, nurses will be required to work shifts. While salaries range between providers, individuals can earn approximately £25,000 for this role.
Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse - Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurses play a highly valuable role in caring for children with acute psychiatric conditions, emotional difficulties and other mental health problems such as anorexia. This is a challenging position, make no mistake, but also an exceptionally rewarding one. Professionals operating in these roles will need to be talented communicators with the ability to make children and their families feel at ease when entering what can often be both a daunting and traumatic process. They must be focused on tailoring treatment plans to each individual patient whilst also developing a happy, but appropriate, environment. Salaries range from £21,000 to £40,000, depending on experience, while hourly rates tend to fall within the £25-30 per hour bracket.
ABI Nurse - Any brain injury, regardless of severity, can cause changes to everyday behaviour. Acquired Brain Injury Nurses are focused on allowing each patient in their care to return to living as full a life as possible following their injury, wherever possible. They work alongside multi-disciplinary teams that also contribute to rehabilitation management programmes and are often the first point of contact for families of individuals going through trauma. Consequently, ABI Nurses must be outstanding communicators as well as possessing attributes like compassion, empathy and mental agility to deal with often challenging situations. In addition, some ABI Nurses will treat patients in their homes and a further group will require technical attributes in areas like respiratory management and contingence and tissue viability. This can often be a highly complex role and professionals operating in the field can earn approximately £31,000 per year.
Registered Mental Health Nurse - Registered Mental Health Nurses qualify through a different branch of training to adult nurses, not just in terms of academic content, but also in the types of placements they take on. Professionals in these roles play an important part in helping patients and will need to display empathy, compassion as well as possessing excellent observational skills that allow them to pick up on small indicators that other professionals might not be able to spot. The spectrum of mental health conditions is vast and nurses will have to provide support to individuals suffering from a variety of complex issues. RMNs can specialise in working with children, older people or in a specific area, such as eating disorders and work will often be carried out as part of a multi-disciplinary team alongside psychologists, GPs, social workers and other nurses. Salaries vary from £21,000 to £41,000 depending on experience while nursing consultants are able to earn up to £47,559.
Clinical Negligence Nurse - This is easily the most unusual of all the roles listed here and potentially one of the most left-field options open to nurses anywhere across the wider health arena. And, perhaps unsurprisingly, it requires a very different skill set to most others within the health sector. On a day-to-day basis, professionals analyse notes and records, identify key issues in patients’ treatment plans and prepare chronologies for solicitors. It also involves offering advice to legal specialists so effective communication and analytical skills are absolutely essential. A methodical approach is obviously important for all nurses, but it’s particularly critical within this field. Professionals will be exposed to masses of, often complex, information in order to build a case and nurses can be expected to be involved in early stage screening and review processes. These roles are largely held by more experienced nurses who have held alternative positions in the past and have gathered significant experience which allows them to cast a discerning eye over an exceptionally varied range of cases. Pay can span from £25,000-£50,000, and professionals in these roles are also likely to benefit from an improved work-life balance and more traditional working hours than nurses in other positions.
As you can see, the range of nursing jobs spans so much further than just those found in a hospital, however, across the board workloads have been increased and professionals are being expected to do more than they’ve ever been asked to do. If you’re currently operating as a nurse and are considering a change of direction, why not consider one of the above roles and try something a bit different. Not only can it take your career in a potentially different direction, but it could also bolster your future employability.
Samantha Edmondson, Senior Recruitment Consultant – Nursing division at Clayton Recruitment