In January, concern was expressed over a glut of nurses with the mushrooming of nursing schools in Malaysia over the last decade. As a result, the nursing entry requirements were therefore revised to be higher in August 2010.

However, it appears that the measure has been too effective; such that the shrinking number of candidates pursuing nursing has now become an issue. MAHSA University Faculty of Nursing and Midwifery dean Professor Zahrah Saad expressed her concern that there is a shortage of nurses with specialisations in the country.

While there are many factors affecting the lack of nursing candidates, it is time to discover more specialisations that a nurse can do. Here are some nursing jobs that may provide more career possibilities for nurses or people who are considering doing nursing jobs.

1. Telenursing

Telenursing is one of the most innovative and improved methods of providing nursing care, which expands the registered nurses’ capacity to practise their nursing in a relatively new platform. Researchers define telenursing as the use of technology to deliver nursing care and conduct nursing practice.

According to an evidence-based handbook, the nursing process and scope of practice does not differ with telenursing even though the use of technology changes the delivery medium of nursing care and may necessitate competencies related to its use to deliver nursing care.

Recent studies focus more on the tools used when providing client care and the potential use of telehealth technology to conduct tele-clinical trials or to measure the satisfaction clients have for receiving telephonic health care.

In the US, telenursing is expanding. Nurses conduct care “over the telephone” to complete assessments, evaluate medical treatments, and follow-up after hospitalisations. It is a very real and positive approach to client care. Although the science behind telenursing is obvious, it is the “art” of telenursing that makes it unique.

2. Infusion/IV nurse

The role of infusion nurses is mainly to give patients medication and fluids via injection. They monitor patients, manage their tubing, maintain infusion catheters and stay aware of potential drug complications.

A veteran registered nurse with more than 20 years nursing experience, Lisa Miller, is certified for chemotherapy, oncology and radiation. “Infusion services are important for cancer patients because it’s safe to administer chemotherapy drugs via IV,” she said. Miller also stressed that nurses must be extremely knowledgeable about chemotherapy drugs and the numerous diseases being treated.

On the other hand, an infusion nurse shared her experience, “The infusion nurse administers various therapies such as intravenous antibiotics, chemotherapy, immunotherapy, blood products, and performs procedures such as therapeutic phlebotomy and placement of central access, midline and peripheral IV catheters.”

Infusion nurses also work with the health care team to ensure the vascular access device and treatment used are best suited to the patients’ needs. An infusion nurse is employed in different practice settings: hospital, outpatient ambulatory, infusion centres, home health, long-term facilities and administration.

The nurse said nursing is both an art and science, and nurses look to evidence to support what they do. The greatest reward of infusion nursing, as she described, is serving patients and their families.

3. Perianaesthesia nurse

Perianaesthesia nurses are also called recovery room nurses as they care for patients as they regain consciousness from anaesthesia after surgery.

Theresa Clifford is the perioperative nurse manager at Mercy Hospital in Portland in the US and is responsible for all phases of perianaesthesia care thus she manages the staff in a preoperative clinic, which is in charge of the preanaesthesia assessment of all surgical patients. Once a surgery is booked, the team gathers the relevant data and calling the patient for an extensive nursing history put the preoperative story of the patient together.

The workflow includes an algorithm that helps to identify patients at high risk for surgical or anaesthesia-related complications. The main objective throughout this process is to help optimise the patient’s baseline status for the safest perianesthesia experience.

When asked for her advice to nurses considering this type of work, Theresa said, “I think perianaesthesia nursing is a well-kept secret within the profession of nursing. There is a saying—do what you love, love what you do. There are a wide variety of opportunities within the perianaesthesia practice to find a niche, a chance to “do what you love!” MIMS

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