When you’re doing your clinicals at St. Paul’s School of Nursing, you’ll likely spend time in various departments of New York-area hospitals. The experiences will help you decide which niche is right for you, and virtually every department in a hospital needs nurses.
While the main focus of the job is fundamentally the same—taking care of patients—each area has requirements and tasks that make it unique. Each department may serve a particular type of patient or perform a specific kind of care and finding your niche can help make your nursing career even more rewarding. As a preview, let’s look into the day-to-day job of four different nursing niches.
Labor and Delivery Nurse
You could argue that the happiest floor of a hospital is the obstetrics unit. Watching a new life come into the world can be very rewarding. Labor and delivery nurses help pregnant women throughout the entire childbirth experience, from early labor to postpartum. The nurse’s job is to monitor the mother’s contractions, administer medications, and assist with the delivery. After the baby is born, a labor and delivery nurse will care for the newborn and mother.
If you love children, pediatrics may be a good fit for you. Pediatric nurses provide care for children from infancy through the late teen years, working at hospitals, doctors’ offices, clinics, schools, or surgical centers. A pediatric nurse will take a child’s vital signs, assist doctors with procedures, administer shots and medication, and provide care instructions to parents. Pediatric nurses may also pursue additional specializations in certain pediatric care areas, such as cardiology, oncology, trauma, and endocrinology.
A geriatric nurse cares for elderly patients. Like other specialty areas, this type of nurse requires additional training to understand the unique needs of this age group. Elderly patients often have more fragile health and can require special care. Some of the daily tasks include monitoring vital signs, administering medications, transporting patients to treatments, and may include helping them bathe, dress, and use the bathroom.
Surgical nurses play an essential role in the operating room, caring for patients before and after a procedure. A surgical nurse prepares the operating room, setting up the tools, and making sure everything is sterile. This nurse also assists the surgical team, handing the doctors their instruments as needed. After the operation, the surgical nurse will clear away the tools and may transport the patient to the recovery room.
St. Paul School of Nursing graduate Christina G. chose to work in the operating room nurse. “I love patient care, I love working with patients, and I love being able to take care of others and help them in times of need and in hard times,” she says. Hear Christina talk about her career here.
It is important to note that you may be interested in more than one nursing niche. Shadowing or talking to nurses who work in those areas can help provide additional perspective and insights. Ask them what the best part of their job is, and what is the most challenging? Additionally, you may find it helpful to ask if a nurse needs specific skills or a particular type of personality to succeed in the specialty.
No matter which niche you pick, nursing is a rewarding career filled with opportunities to learn and grow, and a St. Paul’s School of Nursing education can help you get started. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 822-3018 and speak to one of our career counselors.