Nurses and midwives utilise clinical judgement and play an active role in health promotion, supporting people to maintain optimum health or caring for individuals and families from birth, when they become ill or disabled, or when they are dying. These people are the heart and soul of hospitals, surgeries and health centres.
What does nursing & midwifery involve?
Unlike the medical profession, nurses and midwives are trained to focus on the whole person and their families, not just one aspect of the body or a specific disease. Nurses identify and implement appropriate therapeutic or personal care interventions to empower individuals and families to meet the challenges they may face relating to their health, illness or disability.
These jobs are extremely important and rewarding. They involve supporting and caring for individuals and their families, and helping them achieve the best possible quality of life.
Nurses and midwives are considered to be the key component in the continuity of patient care: they link the multi-disciplinary team together and coordinate care and services for patients and families.
These professions may also involve advocacy for vulnerable people, provision of emotional and spiritual support, theoretical and practical teaching, research, practice development, nursing and business management, leadership and political awareness.
Nurses and midwives are held personally and professionally accountable to their patients, their patients’ families, the general public and the Nursing and Midwifery Council for all their decisions and actions.
What options do I have within nursing & midwifery?
There are many facets to nursing and midwifery. So, if you have a passion for people and a desire to care, a career in this area could be right for you.
Registered General Nurses (RGN) work with adults and their families, covering all disease processes from the age of 16 to the end of life.
Midwives care for pregnant women and the initial stages of life. Midwifery jobs are senior positions and midwives need specific degrees to qualify for these careers. Many even come from another nursing background and then choose to specialise in this area.
Registered Sick Children’s Nurses (RSCN) work with children up to the age of 16 and provide hugely important paediatric care to children and their families.
These guys work in every area of healthcare from casualty and primary care trusts, to general practices and in people’s own homes. Career opportunities can also be found in community, education and research centres.
If you’re interested in nursing and midwifery, check out the following occupational profiles:
Written by Judith Smith
Practice Facilitator @ University Hospitals Coventry & Warwickshire NHS Trust