Community Nursing

A community nurse is a specialist adult nurse role, where nursing care is co-ordinated and delivered to housebound patients, avoiding unnecessary admission to hospital. Community nurses work autonomously to care for a patient’s holistic needs, respond to the needs of vulnerable adults, and ensure continuity of care following referral from acute care, rehabilitation units, GPs and other agencies. Watch our video below to find out more!

 

What is a Community nurse?

As a community nurse you will have a varied career where no two days will be the same. Below is a summary of what the role of a community nurse in the UK may involve.

Skills Key

Condition Management Condition Management
Phyiscal Requirements Travel Alone
Working Alone Working Alone
Flexibility Flexibility
Problem Solving Problem Solving
Networking Networking
Time Management Time Management
Team Work Team Work
Communication Communication
District Nursing

District Nursing

District nursing care is mainly provided in patients’ homes and sometimes clinics or in general practitioner surgeries. District nursing services are generally for people aged 18 years and over. The size of the teams varies according to demographic area, caseload size and patient dependency. As a team member you will have an allocated list of patients to visit daily, the workload often changes during your shift according to the need to respond to urgent new referrals so you will need to be flexible and adaptable to these changes.

Skills:

Team Work Communication Networking Flexibility
Home Visiting

Home Visiting

You will visit patients in their own home, and you are a “guest in the patient’s home”. You will see different levels of deprivations and wealth in the areas you work in. Homes are not set up for delivering nursing care and the challenge is to be able to adapt and provide this care safely and to the same level of cleanliness as in a hospital environment.
The way in which medications are administered and managed is different in
the community setting.

Skills:

Communication Time Management Problem Solving Flexibility
Phyiscal Requirements

Physical Requirements

You will need to be comfortable with traveling to visit your patients. You may
need to walk a considerable distance to get from one patient’s home to another. The use of a car is more relevant for community nurses working in the outer London areas as public transport is a little less frequent and greater distances between locations of patients to be visited. You need to be
aware that you will have to carry your equipment that you need to treat your
patients. Provision of appropriate back packs or wheelie bags is available.

Skills:

Working Alone Phyiscal Requirements Communication
Lone Working

Lone Working

As a community nurse you will be working on your own without direct supervision. Each Trust will have a lone worker policy which will outline the practices and procedures that you and your manager need to follow to stay safe. Though you are working alone, you will have contact numbers for advice and support throughout your shift. The provision of personal safety alarms and other personal safety systems are used.

Skills:

Working Alone Communication Condition Management
Patient Group

Patient Group

The majority of the patients you will see will have long term conditions that may include diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory diseases such as COPD, cancer, neurologic diseases such as Parkinson disease, multiple sclerosis, dementia care needs, renal urological conditions and muscular skeletal conditions. Some patients, in addition to their physical health needs, may also have a learning disability or a chronic mental health problem. Another major area of care is the provision and support “end of life care” at home.

Skills:

Communication Condition Management

Key Clinical Skills

As a community nurse you will need a number of key skills to fulfil your role.

Intravenous Therapy
Nutritional Support
Nursing assessment and care planning
Wound and leg ulcer assessment
SKILLS OF A COMMUNITY NURSE
Palliative Care
Physiological observations and diagnostic tests
Medicines Management
Bladder and bowel management

SKILLS OF A COMMUNITY NURSE
- Intravenous Therapy
- Nursing assessment and care planning
- Palliative Care
- Medicines Management
- Bladder and bowel management
- Physiological observations and diagnostic tests
- Wound and leg ulcer assessment
- Nutritional Support

Community Nursing Candidate Skills and Experience Checklist

This checklist will help determine your previous community nursing experience in your own country. The purpose of the checklist is to give you and your potential employer an indication of where you would be comfortable working and how they can support you in your future skills development.

 

Take Our Community Nursing Quiz

Take our short quiz to find out if you have the right skills to pursue a career in becoming a Community Nurse.

 

Take Our Quiz
"I'm interested in becoming a Community Nurse in London but not sure I have the right experience."
Answer the following questions to find out if you have the right skills to pursue a career in becoming a Community Nurse.
House
I have experience / interest in doing home visits to patients.
Bed
I have experience in managing patients with long-term medical conditions (diabetes, cardiovascular disease, respiratory disease, neurological disease etc)
Person Icon
I feel comfortable in working alone in different environments and making clinical decisions independently.
Car
I can adapt to the physical demands of the job (travelling from one patient's home to another, climbing flights of stairs, bending / sitting for long periods of time when performing a procedure etc).
Thermometer
I am competent in performing physical examination, including taking and recording vital signs.
Tube
I am competent in obtaining pathology samples (blood, urine, stool etc)
Pills
I am competent in administering medications via different routes (oral, subcutaneous, intramuscular, intravenous, topical etc)
Leg
I am competent in the assessment and management of pressure sores and leg ulcers.
Drip
I am competent in providing nutritional assessment and management to patients (e.g. PEG feeding and PEG site care)
Emergency
I am competent in providing bladder and bowel care, including urethral and suprapubic catheterisation for male and female patients.
Needle
I am competent in recognising and responding to medical emergencies (sepsis, anaphylaxis reaction, hypoglycaemia etc)
Your Score
[0 - 4]

Your score indicates that you may need to do further research and study before becoming a Community Nurse, click on the links below to find out more…

Your Score
[5 - 7]

Your score indicates that you have many of the skills a Community Nurse will need, but test yourself further by downloading our checklist…

Your Score
[8 - 11]

Your score indicates that you are ready to pursue a career as a Community Nurse, contact one of our specialist recruitment agencies to discuss how you can apply.

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View Our Webinar Videos

To learn more about Community Nursing please view our recent webinar

 

Case Studies

The following case studies have been provided by two community nurses, who were recruited from the Philippines and India. The purpose of the case studies is to give you a comparison of the differences in working as a community nurse in the UK to your own country.

Manila

Case Study: Philippines

Community nursing is set up differently in the Philippines from how it is here in UK. Community nursing care in the Philippines is mainly focused on the primary health prevention care, including but not limited to family
planning, mother and child immunisations, school children
immunisations, pre and post-partum check-ups, tuberculosis
screening, detection and treatment, nutrition program and education, and coordination to the borough officials and other services for the health program planning and services.

India 01

Case Study: India

Comparing Community health services in India and the UK is a difficult task both countries have their own way of tackling health care related problems and providing best health care at a patient’s home. Health care in India is divided into 3 levels Primary, Secondary and Tertiary which is a combination of Public and private sectors providing care to the citizens were as in the UK the NHS is providing the maximum care to the public.

Useful Links

There are hundreds of reasons that professionals from all over the world set up home in London.

If you have completed a nursing or midwifery qualification and want to relocate, find out how to apply here.

Are you a registered nurse and based outside the UK but looking to relocate?

Nursing in the Community – The Queen’s Nursing Institute

Driving in Great Britain on a non-GB Licence

Consortium Community Nursing Trusts

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