An ambulatory care nurse is a nurse who provides care to patients outside of a hospital setting and specializes in helping patients who suffer from an ailment achieve more mobile and independence in their lives.
These nurses generally provide short-term health care (often lasting less than 24 hours) and advice to patients suffering from an illness or injury.
Due to the short-term treatments these nurses give their patients it is common for them have a busy work schedule helping several patients in any given day, and while the visits are often short-term the relationships they build with their patients can last for years.
Ambulatory care nurses provide diagnosis of ailments, aid in pain management, give health advice to patients suffering from chronic injuries or illnesses, triage, do case management and provide medical screenings.
These nurses are specialists and focus on helping patients find ways to manage their lives by helping them work with and around their disabilities and discomforts so that they can continue to lead mobile and active lives.
In terms of working location ambulatory care nurses can be found working in a large diversity of settings outside of the hospital from a variety of health care facilities to community clinics and various organizations.
Because ambulatory care nurses work outside of a hospital setting in many cases they may work as individual an individual care provider providing patients with individual care and treatment plans.
They may also work in conjunction with doctors or other medical professionals to help patients achieve the best results for their care.
Not only must these nurses understand their patients ailments and help them find ways to best alleviate their disabilities, they must also be caring and compassionate as they often work with individuals who are emotionally sensitive about their needs and find council in the nurses ability to provide them with proper medical, informational and emotional care.
Here are some of the responsibilities ambulatory nurses are in charge of providing their patients:
- Advise patients in ways to develop a healthier lifestyle and work around their disabilities
- Provide emotional support to patients suffering from a severe injury or illness
- Administer medication
- Develop individualized treatment plans for their patients
- Keep records of their patients improvements and/or difficulties
- Educate patients about their ailments and help them psychologically cope with their problems.
Becoming an ambulatory nurse
In order to become an ambulatory care nurse you must first have acquired certification as a registered nurse and have at least two years of experience in the nursing field.
You must also have acquired 2,000 hours of clinical practice in an ambulatory care setting and have at least 30 hours of continued education.
Once you have gained the experience and training necessary to become an ambulatory nurse the next step is to take the certification exam and get certified as a professional ambulatory care specialist.
Working as an ambulatory nurse can be highly rewarding for both the nurse and the patient.
By providing care to those in need ambulatory nurses gain the satisfaction of helping others in need while also improving the lives of their patients and giving them a happier and healthier lifestyle.