Nursing is a broad and dynamic field that offers a variety of opportunities for people to develop a career that is personally rewarding in addition to being financially lucrative.
Among one of the growing fields in this area of healthcare is Developmental Disability Nursing.
Often referred to as “DD Nursing,” a Developmental Disability Nurse has the unique opportunity to work closely with their patients over long periods of time.
This prolonged contact allows them to develop rich and meaningful relationships at the same time that they are using their gifts to provide a fuller and healthier life to their patients.
The care that a Developmental Disability Nurse provides covers a broad spectrum within the patient’s life.
In addition to clinical applications, DD nurses assist in managing living environments and address the emotional and personal needs of their patients.
Because the care is so comprehensive, these types of nurses must possess a huge variety of skills.
They manage multiple individual cases concerning patients with special needs on several medications.
The patients also often have difficulty with communication due to their developmental disability, making superior communication skills an important part of the job.
A Developmental Disability Nurse typically deals with illnesses such as Down’s syndrome and autism.
As a specialist in diseases related to physical and mental development, these nurses take on the additional responsibility of educating family and friends concerning a given illness and the needs it produces.
Nurses also serve as the means of communication between patients, doctors, and other caregivers on a regular basis.
Another unique aspect of this area of nursing is the wide variety of work environments it creates.
Practicing nurses can work in hospital settings, schools, private businesses, and the home.
The job opportunities are consistently growing.
On a day-to-day basis, a Developmental Disability Nurse will be working closely with their patients to help them develop their motor skills and live independently.
This task can include providing assistance with food and the daily bodily functions that must be maintained for health.
They also play a key role in helping patients to cultivate their communication and language skills based on their particular disability.
Nurses who perform this job well find that certain characteristics are of great benefit.
These skills include being able to manage many task simultaneously, create and maintain a structured environment, and possess a genuine passion for face to face interaction with the people for whom they care.
Another key aspect of DD Nursing involves managing support staff who care for the needs of patients.
In direct-support situations such as these, the nurse will oversee tasks that are likely to include insulin administration, g-tube feeding, and care for any potential wounds.
Without the skills of DD Nurses, patients throughout the country would find it much more difficult to find medical assistance that was focused specifically on their needs that was delivered with genuine care.
Additionally, settings in which care could be given would be much more limited.