Toxicology nurses or poison control nurses specialize in providing medical aide to patients who have been poisoned or have been adversely affected by a chemical or gas agent.
These nurse specialists treat patients who have swallowed poisonous chemicals, have been attacked by a snake, spider or poisonous insect, have been affected by carbon monoxide poisoning or another inhailable agent, or have come into contact with other possible toxic/poisonous materials.
Toxicology nurses treat a wide range of patients from infants and young teens to adults and the elderly and use their expertise to identify potential poisons by analyzing blood samples, using diagnostic equipment and asking questions in order to determine a possible cure for the poison.
Once a cure is found the toxicology nurse will administer a medication or treatment (i.e. Anti venom, stomach pump or medicated skin cream), monitor their patient’s vital signs and keep track of the patient’s recovery process among other toxicology related duties.
In addition to providing medical aide and support to patients who have been poisoned or affected other forms of toxins toxicology nurses also work to educate and inform the public and local communities about ways to prevent contact with poisons materials, what potentially poisonous animals to look out for, what potentially poisonous chemicals and/or materials to stay away from, what to do should someone become poisoned and who to contact if an individual shows signs of poisoning.
In many cases toxicology nurses work alongside other medical professionals such as doctors, physicians and practitioners in order to provide a patient with the best medical care possible.
In terms of the types of facilities toxicology nurses operate out of toxicology nurses can be found in facilities such as poison control centers, chemical factories, hospitals, child care clinics and physician offices among other fields where toxicology nurses may be of great value.
As populations continue to expand the need for highly educated toxicology nurses is expected to continually grow, especially in hot climates where poisonous animals roam, in and near large facilities that deal with toxic materials and in large metropolitan areas where poisons or harmful chemical agents are likely to cause harm to people.
Toxicology nurses provide a specialized type of healthcare that is essential in helping patients who have been exposed to toxic or harmful material recover and regain their health.
Without toxicology nurses thousands of patients would go uncared for each year which would lead to severe handicapped individuals and/or a loss of life for hundreds or thousands of patients.