If you are currently a nurse or you are studying to become a nurse, it is time to learn about all of the different specializations you can pursue. HIV/AIDS is not just a disease, it is a pandemic, and you could be part of the subset of nursing professionals who help patients get through the emotional barriers while coping with the symptoms that come with having the disease. Before you decide to gain the experience that you need to test for an ACRN certification, read on and find out just what HIV/AIDS nurses do on a daily basis.
Where Do HIV/AIDS Nurses Work?
HIV/AIDS is a worldwide health problem that was hardly understood just 25 years ago. With advances in research, doctors and nurses have gained a greater understanding of how the virus is transmitted and how to help patients live product lives with the disease. While the number of newly infected patients has gone down, in the United States approximately 40,000 newly infected individuals are diagnosed with HIV/AIDS on a yearly basis. This trend creates a demand for experienced and certified HIV/AIDS nurses in a variety of different healthcare settings which may include hospitals, outpatient clinics, and physician’s offices. Specialists who are dedicated to educating the community may also work in community or public health departments.
What Do HIV/AIDS Nursing Professionals Do With Patients?
HIV/AIDS nurses must earn test for and earn their certificate to work within the field as a specialist. While the roles of a professional in the field can vary from job to job and setting to setting, all nurses with a ACRN certification will help patients learn how to cope the symptoms and the emotions that come with having an incurable disease that attacks the patient’s immune system.
In addition to helping patients cope, nurses in the field will help those who are diagnosed connect with support groups and medical services that can be helpful in the process. Nurses will work closely with anyone HIV positive to help the patient learn how to prevent spreading the disease to partners, and may ask for information on recent sexual partners for testing. In addition to this, an HIV/AIDS nurse will administer treatments and recommendations that are ordered by the doctor.
Some nurses work closely with doctors to implement strategies so that patients who have been diagnosed stay engaged with their treatment. Some more experienced specialist who have proven their ability to work alone may also develop pain management plans for patients based on their symptoms.
What is the Next Step?
If you are certain that this is the direction you would like to take your career, you will need to earn your AIDS Certified Registered Nurse certification after you have experience as an RN. If you do not currently have a degree, earn your Bachelor of Science in Nursing or your Nursing Diploma, gain experience, and study for licensure. Once you have the ACRN, you can apply for most mid-level openings.
As an HIV/AIDS nurse, you will help patients with a chronic illness cope and manage their pain. Nursing professionals also work close with the community to prevent the spread of infections locally. Pursue your degree, attain your certification, and enter a field where you can give back.