What Is the Role of the Ambulatory Care Nurse?
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Any nurse who visits patients in an outpatient setting is referred to as an ambulatory care nurse. This general nurse is typically responsible for non-emergency patient care at a medical office, clinic, health institution, or other setting where patients do not stay overnight. While hospitals may include ambulatory care wings, this type of nurse does not often operate in a hospital setting. Ambulatory care nurses visit a range of patients for a variety of reasons, including normal care, injuries, chronic or acute disease, and more. They may specialize in areas such as pediatrics or other specialized areas. To assess and expedite appropriate care, these nurses must possess astute, comprehensive clinical expertise.
Becoming a Nurse in Ambulatory Care
Ambulatory care is an excellent specialty for qualified RNs with a variety of backgrounds, as the type of care delivered is so diverse. Additionally, it is great for those recently graduated from nursing school who do not wish to work irregular hours or in a stressful hospital atmosphere. A nurse is eligible to work in ambulatory care after getting a degree and passing the NCLEX-RN. They can then pursue certification in the specialization after gaining a few years of experience.
What Education Do Ambulatory Care Nurses Need?
Ambulatory care nurses are registered nurses with an ADN or BSN degree. Depending on their location of employment and their area of specialization, an ambulatory care nurse may be required to obtain a BSN or higher. Ambulatory nursing is an excellent place for new nurse graduates to gather experience and decide on a specialty; it’s also suitable for those who know they want to work regular daytime hours.
Is it necessary to obtain any certifications or credentials?
The Ambulatory Care Nurse Certification Exam is administered by the American Academy of Ambulatory Care Nursing. Registered nurses who pass the examination earn the certification RN-BC (Registered Nurse-Board Certified). An RN must meet the following prerequisites in order to sit for the exam:
- Possess a current, valid RN license
- Have worked as a full-time registered nurse for at least two years
- Possess a minimum of 2,000 hours of clinical experience in ambulatory care in the preceding three years.
- Have completed 30 hours of ambulatory care nurse continuing education within the last three years
Where Do Nurses Who Work in Ambulatory Care Work?
Ambulatory care nurses work in a variety of settings, including medical offices, government institutions, college/university health centers, home healthcare organizations, community health clinics, and group practices. This type of nurse is also employed by some hospitals with ambulatory care units. Finally, ambulatory care nurses can provide ‘telehealth’ care using call centers, e-mail, or other online communication methods.
What Is the Role of an Ambulatory Care Nurse?
Ambulatory care nurses perform an incredible variety of daily responsibilities. They care for a diverse range of patients throughout their lives, monitor vital signs, execute phlebotomy operations, coordinate health services, provide health education, and analyze patient results, among other duties. A significant portion of their employment entails pain management and the proper administration of pain medication. Ambulatory care nurses must be adaptable and prepared to deal with a wide variety of health issues that may arise from patient to patient, ranging from disease to injury and everything in between. Apart from that, they are frequently assigned a variety of managerial activities, such as completing paperwork, delegating roles and responsibilities, and maintaining and complying to laws, regulations, and policies.
What Are the Responsibilities and Responsibilities of the Ambulatory Care Nurse?
- Evaluate the general health of a patient
- Vital signs are taken and monitored.
- Procedures involving phlebotomy
- Assist patients in self-management of their medical care
- Coordination and referral of additional healthcare services
- Optimize your well-being
- Treat and support those who are unwell or injured
- Evaluate nursing services inside an organization to ensure compliance with applicable legal and regulatory requirements and departmental rules.
- Discuss and evaluate the symptoms of a patient.
- Educate patients and families about health issues
Salary and Employment for Ambulatory Care Nurses
Typically, nursing salaries vary according to factors such as area, experience, education level, and more. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the median annual compensation for an ambulatory care nurse is around $68,410.
Apart from the fact that ambulatory care nursing is a diverse nursing specialty, the employment prognosis for an ambulatory care nurse is also excellent. Numerous physicians and surgeons are increasingly doing in-office surgical procedures that do not require an overnight stay, increasing the demand for ambulatory care nurses. Additionally, due to the sheer amount of career opportunities, this type of nurse should have little difficulty obtaining work in a range of different healthcare settings.