All health visitors are qualified nurses or midwives who have trained in community health. They believe prevention is the best form of treatment and their best weapon is practical advice and support.
Health visitors work in the community to promote health and care. They are particularly proactive in helping out with children and the elderly. A huge part of being a health visitor will be providing care and support for families with new children, offering advice and guidance from pregnancy to primary school.
They advise parents on breastfeeding, weaning, potty training, teething, common childhood health problems and various other issues that new parents might face. They’ll also help tackle issues such as bereavement, postnatal depression and violence in the family.
Health visitors work closely with other health professionals to ensure that needs and requirements are met.
Protecting children is also a huge concern and health visitors are trained to look out for risk factors or signs that children might be suffering from abuse or neglect. In short, health visitors can be a godsend.
Salary & benefits
Salaries for nursing professionals are fixed in accordance with NHS wage bands.
Entry-level nurses start on just over £20,000 per annum.
Health visitors might earn anything between £26,000 and £35,000 a year.
Those taking on a more managerial role might earn up to £40,000 a year.
Health visitors will usually work a standard nine-to-five, Monday to Friday working week.
Health visitors are trained nurses or midwives. Nurses need to obtain membership from the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC). In order to achieve registered status with the NMC, they must have completed a degree in pre-registration nursing.
Furthermore, all nurses are required to undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. After registering as a trained nurse, nurses can then undertake further health visiting training.
Aside from the usual nursing skills, health visitors will need to be super organised and confident. Moreover, health visitors must be able to work independently. This is a particularly crucial skill as often they will have to deal with some challenging and potentially distressing situations.
Training & progression
After qualifying as a nurse, wannabe health visitors will then have to take an approved programme in specialist community public health nursing/health visiting (SCPHN/HV).
This is a degree-level programme and will take a minimum of one year to complete. With experience, health visitors might progress to team manager or health visitor specialist roles.