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Life Sciences
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Nurse Practitioner Trajectory (Research Paper Sample)

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A research paper on the trajectory of a nurse practitioner.

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Nurse Practitioner Trajectory
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Nurse Practitioner Trajectory
A palliative nurse is a health care professional specializing with patients diagnosed with terminal illness or dying from illness with no cure. A palliative nurse is trained to treat, care and counsel, with the help of other medical professionals, patients with such illness. It is the duty of a palliative nurse to assist the patient and their family members to manage tough situations by informing counseling and supporting them. As the nurse gets experience in the field of palliative care, they can be involved in medical research on prolonged illness. In addition an experienced palliative nurse can aid in setting up new policies for patient care and pursue a career in teaching schools or colleges. It is difficult for patients diagnosed with incurable diseases to get hope to face their last moments, It is the duty of palliative nurse to provide the best care available and the most needed treatment to relieve the patients of the pain and symptoms. The nurse has to create a bond with both the patient and their families ( Nightingale 1970). A career as a palliative nurse is challenging since it accompanied with emotional attachment. A palliative nurse should be able to cope with loss and heartbreak constantly (Farrell& Coyle 2008).
Advanced practice nurses roles vary throughout the world. In the US the role of nurse practitioners was instituted back in the 1960s. It was initially meant to provide basic care to rural and remote area population. However this has been changing with time. Nurse practitioners in the US nowadays perform duties which can be done by doctors. This constitutes primary care, diagnosing patients with minor ailment, prescription of drugs, requesting for lab tests and following up on patients with chronic illness. This was done in order to reduce doctors’ workload in doing of some of their tasks and also improve access to care. Apart from the nurse practitioners, there is also another group of APN known as Clinical nurse specialists (CNS). This group of nurses is found in hospitals and their role is provision of knowledge through education and leadership. They ensure that staff nurses are well equipped with skills to provide high quality care and safety to patients. The percentage of advanced practice nurse is still low compared to other nurses even in countries that started the practice. For instance in the United states there are about 6.5% of NPs out of the total registered nurses as at 2008 (Buerhaus e.tal 2009).
In order to be competent in palliative nursing one is expected to have a set of professional skill which is applicable in all fields of nursing. First, a communication skill is a vital skill to palliative nurses. Nursing as career demand knowledge in a variety of sensitive and soothing communication skills but, to be a palliative nurse one has to know how to answer rhetorical questions about death asked by patients. They have to know what to say, when to say and how to say it. This applies to both the patient and their families (Peplau 1955).
Psychosocial skill is also a required skill for nurses including palliative nurses. Palliative nurses interact with the patient’s family very often and thus need to be able to work with them. This includes offering support to family members, foreseeing their needs and offering them services when needed. Nurses are the constant figure in the patients’ life, always there in tough situations, assisting patients in future plans, provision of psychological support and facilitating other team members interaction with the patient. The core pillar of palliative nursing is the use of psychosocial skill to gain the trust and confidence of the patient (Institute of Medicine 2010).
Palliative nurses need to have a vital skill on physical care. This is all about the knowhow and ability to professionally deliver care using their hands. This is a long time skill that will be required during the entire time the patients needs care. During the moments of a patient, this skill in care is of so much importance. This care calls for a lot of skills for palliative care but the focus remains of the pain; whether acute or chronic. Knowledge on how to properly use pain assessment tools is important. This is especially useful in scenarios where patients’ responses to questions are limited (Institute of Medicine 2010).
In order to become a NP recognized by the state, one has to be a holder of a master’s degree. This is the initial requirement but if one wants to proceed and become an Advanced Nurse practitioner (ANP), then they got to have sufficient experience in the field of nursing they want to venture in. For registered nurses wishing to widen their scope in a certain field, there are training programs offered by the state for a certain period. This is the same case for palliative nurses. After completing an undergraduates program in nursing, one has to pursue a master’s degree for two years. This will enable the nurse to qualify for credentials of a nurse practitioner (American Nurses Association 2004).
Nurse interns who are interested in palliative care have to intern for at least a year in an emergency room or a hospital environment in order to attain the required practical experience in the field. In order to be certified as a NP and especially in palliative care, nurses have to undergo extensive training and examination controlled by a recognized body in the United States. The Hospice together with Palliative nurses Association (HPNA) oversee the training and certification of such nurses in the US. Palliative nurses are often required to work for up to 40 hours each week. However, their schedules aren’t regular. The duration of work of a palliative nurse is not fixed and is determined by the condition of their patients. On some occasion they may work overnight, during the weekends or even double shifts. This usually happens at the final moments of a patient’s life where the nurse’s full care and attention is paramount. In addition, even after the patient has passed, the palliative nurse has to meet with their families for support both physical and emotional.
As a nurse the best place I can get experience is at a busy hospital setting where I can interact with patients. I anticipate working in a busy hospital with both chronic ill and minor ill patients. Palliative skills which include tender care, psychosocial skill and communications skills will best be put to task when one is constantly interacting with the patients, their families and also other medical staff. The geographical locations don’t matter to me at all provided I get support from doctors and other nurse practitioners I will be working with. As a nurse practitioner in the palliative care I have sufficient knowledge and ability to work with a patient from any age group in the population; from infants to elderly patients. This will be possible through the use of pain assessment tools and soothing communication.
Living with uncertainty is what my motto is all about. At the moment I know I’m competent enough to be a palliative nurse, but, five to ten years from now I’m not certain that my competence will still stand. The medical world is constantly changing with new drugs being discovered that may alleviate illness that were one incurable. In addition new ways on patient care and safety are being introduced and some are entirely smart ways which relies on technology and machines. As a nurse practitioner I need to have a solid plan for lifelong planning and personal development in order to be at par with changes in the field.
I fully understand that I need lifelong skills apart from the medical skills I have attained from medical training and practice. Learning about d...
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