Shadowing a DoctorApril 22, 2015
Burn care nurses are advanced practice nurses who primarily treat patients suffering from burn injuries. But the job involves more than just applying salve over burn injuries. Burn care nursing is one of the most challenging specialties in nursing. It calls for sharp clinical skills including triage, pain management, fluid balance, critical care, the stabilisation of acutely burned patients, trauma recovery and rehabilitation.
In many cases, patients who come in with burn injuries would have suffered other types of trauma as well, which means a burn care nurse must be skilled in several different nursing specialties. As a nurse working in the burn unit, you must be knowledgeable in using several different types of equipment and techniques to observe, treat, monitor and ventilate patients when necessary.
Duties and Responsibilities Of A Burn Care Nurse
As a burn nurses you can expect to treat a wide section of patients across all ages and suffering from different types of burns from chemical and electrical burns to victims of industrial, automobile or household accidents as well as other accidental or non-accidental traumas. Burn nurses working with the military may also encounter burn injuries sustained as the result of different types of explosive materials.
The level of care provided in a burn care unit can vary greatly depending on the patient’s age, severity of injury, mechanism of injury and the presence or absence of any co-morbidities.
As a burn care nurse, you will usually work as part of a care team that includes physicians, nurses, pain-management experts, physical and occupational therapists, respiratory therapists and psychologists.
Education and Certification
There is no specific certification to work as a nurse in a burn unit but there are numerous educational and certification opportunities that provide essential skills and advanced training for this specialty. Before you can consider this specialty you must complete an approved, formal nursing programme that qualified you to practice as a nurse. Whether or not you require to do additional training or get some experience before working in a burn unit depends on the requirements of the workplace. Some units hire registered nurses and train them in this specialty, whereas others may require that applicants have experience in the ICU or have obtained specialised certification before being considered.
Although special certifications may not be mandatory, they go a long way in helping you stand out and boosting your employability. if you have set your goals on burn nursing some of the certifications and courses you should consider include:
- ABLS – Advanced Burn Life Support
- CCRN – Certification for Adult, Paediatric and Neonatal Critical Care Nurses
- TNCC – Trauma Nursing Core Course
- PALS – Paediatric Advanced Life Support Certification
To advance further in this specialty, you will have to consider advanced education. A Master’s Degree in Nursing (MSN) will provide you specialized training in emergency nursing, trauma nursing and acute care, which are skills that are in great demand with most employers.
Gap Medics provides year-round hospital work experience for people aged 16 and over. Our shadowing placements offer a unique insight into the work of doctors, nurses, midwives and dentists – helping students to focus their career aspirations before embarking upon medical training.