What does an AIDS care nurse do?

June 6, 2016

Article by Global Pre-Meds
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Acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) is a condition that compromises a person’s immunity system leaving them defenceless against a host of other deadly diseases. Not without reason is it considered to be one of the most frightening diseases in the world.

AIDS Care Nurses care for patients who suffer from this disease. In addition to providing necessary treatment and care, they also play a key role in educating individuals and communities about the nature of the disease and what they can do to protect themselves and prevent the spread of the disease.

AIDS care nurses may work in hospitals, clinics, community health centres, hospice care centres, assisted living facilities and home care agencies. There are plenty of job opportunities with global organisations that provide AIDS care in developing countries where this virus is more common.

Job Description of an AIDS Care Nurse

An AIDS care nurse acts as a medical professional as well as a caregiver for those who are suffering from AIDS. While some nurses may work alongside a physician in order to help treat patients, others may even work exclusively with patients in order to monitor their vitals, keep a track on their systems, collect blood samples, conduct physical examinations and maintain their charts.

Along with everything else, an AIDS care nurse will also overlook the Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy or HAART treatment that is commonly administered to AIDS patients today. This therapy is very potent and has shown a lot of promise with AIDS patients but it is also known to have a number of side effects. Many patients refuse to take doses or forget to take them. As an AIDS Care nurse, it is your responsibility to keep a check on these patients and ensure that they are following the treatment plan. You will also have to help treat patients who contract other diseases due to their low immunity.

AIDS Care Nurses also work with the family of the patient. Not only do they educate the family on how to take care of the patient but they also offer much-needed emotional support during this time.

Many nurses in this field also take part in awareness and education programmes that help the public understand AIDS and learn how to follow safe practices to help prevent or minimise the risks of getting infected.

How to Become an AIDS Care Nurse

In order to work in this specialty, you will have to first obtain a nursing diploma or degree and become a Registered Nurse. While formal education in this area is not a mandatory requirement, taking additional courses related to the study of HIV or AIDS while earning your degree can help when trying to get a job in this field.

The Challenges And Rewards Of The Job

One of the most challenging aspects of this role lies in the fact that despite a lot of development that has been done in recent years, there is still no cure for AIDS. In addition to acting as caregiver, AIDS care nurses also act as educators and advocates for patients in their care as well as their families. Emotional maturity, excellent nursing skills and an unbiased attitude are necessary attributes for anyone wishing to pursue a career in this field as you will have to work with patients across all ages and from all walks of life.

Despite the many challenges of the job, knowing that you can make a difference in the life of a person suffering from AIDS can be immensely rewarding.

If a caring role within the health profession sounds like your perfect career, check out our overseas pre-nursing placements for ages 16 and over.



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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.