- Work in GP practices to assess, screen, treat and educate patients, and help doctors give medical care
- You'll need observational, communication and listening skills, empathy and IT skills
- You could progress to become a nurse practitioner, managing your own caseload of patients, or move into management, teaching or research
As a practice nurse, you'll be responsible for helping doctors give medical care, treating and educating patients.
- Setting up and running clinics for conditions like asthma, diabetes, heart problems and skin disorders
- Offering advice on family planning and contraception
- Taking blood and urine samples and other specimens and swabs, performing routine procedures like ear syringing, applying and removing dressings and treating wounds
- Offering specialist information and advice on blood pressure, weight control and stopping smoking
- Carrying out infant injections, vaccinations and travel immunisation
- Giving advice to patients on long-term medical and nursing needs
- In larger GP surgeries you may specialise in the needs of a particular client group
The role can be physically and emotionally demanding. You may work with clients who are distressed and suffering from long-term illness.
To be a practice nurse, you'll need counselling skills, knowledge of psychology, English language and teaching, the ability to design courses, sensitivity and understanding, patience and the ability to remain calm in stressful situations, the ability to accept criticism and work well under pressure, and flexibility and openness to change.
You must be a qualified and registered adult, child, mental health, or learning disability nurse to work in general practice. It might give you an advantage if you've got experience in chronic disease management (like diabetes or asthma), childhood immunisation, cervical cytology, and phlebotomy (taking blood).
Some employers might ask if you've completed a Specialist Practitioner - General Practice Nursing course, approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
You'll also need to register with the Nursing & Midwifery Council.
You could specialise in health promotion, chronic disease management, diabetes or asthma care. With experience and qualifications you could become a nurse practitioner, managing your own caseload of patients. You could also move into management, teaching or research.