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Gerontology is nursing specialty relating to older adults. Gerontological nurses work with the elderly, their families and the surrounding community to support the health of the aging for their comfort and maximum functioning of their bodies. Due to the improvement of medicine and health, life expectancy is increasing. The higher number of senior citizens requires more nurses to make care of them. A concentration in gerontology prepares you for a career that centers on providing adult primary care. You will learn about effects of aging on human mind and body for a better understanding of social constructs revolving around old age.
Midwifery is no longer the ancient discipline of helping women to deliver. Also called obstetrics, a certified nurse midwife is now a specialist in health science dealing with pregnancy, childbirth and postpartum period. Nurse midwives service now includes providing care to newborns as well as sexual and reproductive health to women throughout their life.
The role of a modern nurse midwife does not, therefore, end with helping a woman to give birth. It also involves working in collaboration with obstetrics/gynecology physicians providing care to both mother and baby. In earlier times, midwives were almost exclusively women. Tides have changed, and there is a steady rise in the number of men specializing in nurse-midwifery.
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3. Neonatal Nurse Practitioner
The work of neonatal nurse practitioners is to take care of infants born with certain health complications that require more than the usual nursery care. They attend to cases of premature birth, chemical dependence or illness. It also involves providing support to families of babies born with health challenges throughout the difficult period.
Most of the time, neonatal nurses work in Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). They will assess, monitor and look after the medically fragile newborns. Also, they may have to take care of infants with severe medical complexities for up to a year at some medical facilities. Their duties include:
- Administering oxygen
- Assisting with any other crucial medical procedures
Neonatal Nurse Practice like other critical care fields of nursing is highly specialized, fast-paced, hectic but fulfilling when you help to nurture a 'fragile' baby back to health.
4. Nurse anesthetist
Also referred to as anesthetist nurses, these professionals specialize in administering anesthesia to patients before surgery. Nurse anesthetists help to prepare patients for a surgery, administer anesthesia, help the doctor during the procedure and gives wellness tips to the patient or caregiver during discharge. Training in this specialty takes a registered nurse to the level of an APRN (Advanced Practice Registered Nurse). A certification to allow you to practice as a nurse anesthetist comes with more employment options at any facility that carries out surgery. It can be an emergency room, a surgeon’s office or a hospital. It is a specialist with handsome salary.
5. Family Nurse Practitioner
Family nurse practitioners work more like family doctors. They serve specific patients throughout their lives by diagnosing their illnesses, conducting examinations and prescribing medication under a physician. Family nurse practitioners usually work at doctor's offices or smaller clinics. An advanced degree in this nursing discipline enables a holder to have more interaction with patients and earn better pay.
Specializing at Master's level is a wise move for nurses as it provides you an opportunity to practice in the area you love most and perfect your skills. It also opens the way for higher pay and decision-making positions.
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