Little known nursing opportunities: haematology nursing

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The responsibilities of a haematology nurse are very similar to that of an oncology nurse. Haematology nurses care for patients who have various types of blood related disorders such as leukaemia, lymphoma, sick-cell anaemia, Hodgkin’s disease and haemophilia. They often work in special nursing units or they are employed in private practices or by doctors who deal majorly with blood-related disorders. Hospitals, blood clinics and cancer wards also employ these specialist nurses.

Detailed job description

A haematology nurse specialise in treating patients who suffer from any type of blood related disease.

These nurses are responsible for direct as well as indirect patient care. Direct care involves administering injections, collecting blood samples, ordering tests and operating specialist machinery. Indirect care involves tending to administration work such as record keeping and collecting information.

As a haematology nurse, you are in charge of your patients right from the time they are admitted till the time they are discharged. The first task is to take down the patient’s detailed history and hand it over to the doctor in charge who will use this history to create an appropriate plan of treatment. You will then have to ensure that the treatment plan is carried out correctly. Your exact duties may vary considerably based on the needs of the patient. Some of your duties may include obtaining IV access, ensuring that medications are given on time, infusing certain medications when needed and inserting catheters. It is also necessary to keep the patient as comfortable as possible and at times act as an advocate on behalf of the patient.

Liaising with the patient’s family and keeping them updated is also part of a haematology nurse’s responsibility. You will have to educate the family and offer them much-needed support at this trying time. Once the patient is discharged, the nurse advises the family on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle for the patient and how to take care of them properly. Excellent communication skills play a vital role in liaising with the patient and their family as well as the physician and other medical professionals who are involved in the patient’s ongoing care.

As a qualified haematology nurse, you may choose to work exclusively with children who are suffering from blood-related problems. Nurses in this field often build long-term relationships with the patients and their families since they have to supervise routine medical check-ups and medical infusions for an extended period of time.

Besides directly taking care of patients, haematology nurses are also often involved in research projects. They may have to work alongside physicians and help them document their findings. Some nurses are dedicated to researching various blood-related problems. They often collect data and sort it out for these projects.

Educational requirements for this field

In order to get qualified as a haematology nurse, it is necessary to be a registered nurse first. After you’ve gained some work experience in the field of haematology as an RN, you can then practice in this specialty. Obtaining a certification in this field is highly recommended as it helps boost your employability.

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