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Nurses are in high demand in the United States. In fact, due to this demand, it's projected that there will be far more nursing jobs compared to any other profession. As such, it remains the fastest-growing career path in the country. Be that as it may, there is one particular nurse job that has a bigger growth rate compared to the 9% of registered nurses. These are nurse specialists, who are forecasted to see a growth of 45% by 2030.
Still, what exactly are nurse specialists? In this article, we will define what they are and what they can do for your loved ones who need care.
What is a nursing specialist?
First and foremost, a nursing specialist is a registered nurse. The only difference is that they have higher level roles compared to other nurses. This is because nurse specialists have made it a point to further their careers by acquiring a bachelor’s, master’s, or doctoral degree. Some even choose to study more than one specialization in order to serve more patients. A few examples of these specializations are critical care nursing, pediatric nursing, and trauma nursing.
The role of a nursing specialist in medical settings is offering specialized care in their chosen area. Because of their higher education levels, they're more equipped to care for patients with specific needs. For instance, a critical care nurse will spend their time looking after patients in intensive care units. Aside from providing care, nursing specialists are also qualified to diagnose patients, make treatment plans, and advise fellow medical professionals on patient care.
Now that we've explained what nursing specialists are, let’s proceed to the things they can do for your loved one.
What can nursing specialists do for my loved one?
There are specific nursing specialists that focus on dementia, called admiral nurses or dementia nurses. On the other hand, geriatric nurses focus on older adult care in general, focusing on healthy aging and better quality of life. Given these, here are the things that nurse specialists can do for your loved one:
Diagnose dementia and similar diseases
Dementia, along with dementia-related conditions like Alzheimer’s, have a range of symptoms. These may include poor judgment, confusion, and difficulty expressing thoughts. Nursing specialists' additional education has equipped them with sufficient knowledge to recognize symptoms and make diagnoses. When you observe these symptoms in a loved one, a nurse specialist may help diagnose them.
Provide support for dementia patients
People with dementia need care and monitoring to ensure their safety and alleviate any aggressive behavior. In more severe or progressive cases, a dementia patient may need 24-hour support that is beyond what their family can provide. In these cases, nursing specialists can be a crucial part of a caregiving team for your loved one. They can provide you with advice on how to better care for the dementia patient in your life, as well as answer your questions and provide support. Dementia can be a very isolating condition not just for the patient but for family as well, so it’s best to have as much support as possible.
Develop policies in dementia care
Aside from their role in administering care, nursing specialists can also help in the development of policies to improve dementia care. Both their education and first-hand experience in looking after dementia patients allow them to identify shortcomings, make suggestions, and assist in the implementation of new policies in medical settings. This way, they ensure that the future of dementia care is effective and comfortable for your loved one, and future patients.
Nursing specialists are in demand at present thanks to their supplementary education and experience. Because of these skills, there's no doubt that they'll be invaluable in providing care to patients with specific needs, especially dementia.
Article written by Rosette June