Nursing has always been one of the highest paid jobs in the field of medical sciences. This doesn’t really come as a surprise, particularly with how complex and controversial some of the specialties are.
This includes HIV nursing.
Becoming an HIV nurse is more than a simple job. Since HIV is more than just a disease, one needs to be physically, mentally and emotionally strong to be able to help patients cope. As a nurse, your role is extremely important for your patients’ welfare.
If you are considering this specialty, make sure you read this article till the end.
What Are The Responsibilities of an HIV/AIDS Care Nurse?
Critical care nurses or HIV/AIDS care nurses have to spend a lot of time educating risk groups or different communities about the disease. In addition to health teaching, they also need to take care of critical HIV/AIDS patients. They need to attend to their patients’ physical as well as emotional needs to make sure that they are coping well with the process and treatment.
See Also: How to Become a Critical Care Nurse
If you are to pursue this specialty, you also need to know how to take on several roles. Here are some of the other responsibilities of HIV nurses:
- In addition to providing supportive care to your patients, you also have to act as advocates and help them decide about their clinical treatment.
- You need to manage and monitor antiretroviral therapy not just in hospitals but also in rural and remote areas, too.
- As a caregiver, you have to monitor the progress of every patient regularly by performing integral physical tests along with some blood works.
- A CCN nurse shall also assist physicians in performing procedures and administer
- HAART treatment or antiretroviral therapy is an integral treatment in HIV/AIDS. It involves plenty of side effects which you have to address in a timely manner. These side effects may force patients to skip their doses which can make treatment a lot harder.
- While in the healing process, patients are susceptible to attracting more opportunistic infections. As a critical care nurse, you have to make sure that the care and environment provided to the patients are well-balanced. Any infection can cause a bigger harm than the HIV as their immunity systems are weak.
Growth Prospects For HIV/AIDS Nurse
The average salary of any HIV nurse is around $75,000 in the USA. This may vary with place or country as well. According to Nursejournal, the highest salary of nurses in this specialty can be as high as $80,000.
If you are wondering about job growth, the need for CCN or HIV/AIDS nurses is expected to increase by as much as 19% by the year 2020 followed by a consecutive growth in the salary structure as well. You can consider this as a form of assurance in case you are feeling skeptical about choosing this specialty.
Statistically, the rise in HIV patients since the past decade has been alarming. In line with this, people have become more aware of the disease process, encouraging more hospitals and clinical centers to act out more sincerely and aggressively in admitting any possible case of HIV/AIDS. As more patients get admitted and as more people get affected by this disease, more nurses will be needed to take care of them.
See Also: Demystifying HIV – HIV Facts that Nurses Need to Know
How To Become A CCN or HIV/AIDS Nurse
In order to pursue a career as an HIV/AIDS nurse, you must earn a diploma in nursing and become a registered nurse first. After getting your license, you should have a working experience of 2 years alongside HIV patients and become a certified HIV/AIDS nurse. This isn’t mandatory but it can surely give you an edge over other nurses.
Where Can HIV/AIDS Nurses Work?
Hospitals aren’t the only places you can work as an HIV/AIDS nurse. You can also work in clinics, public health departments or in collaboration with various educational communities to spread awareness about the disease. You can hold classes in different communities to help them be more aware of how they can protect themselves from the deadly virus.
These are the most common questions that can help you be an HIV/AIDS nurse. The projections and reported cases of HIV/AIDS have increased in the past and the numbers continue to increase. This means more and more hospitals and institutions will need nurses to help care for their patients.
Working as an HIV nurse is more of a privilege than a job. Being able to help people deal with the deadly virus is a blessing and getting paid for that is just a bonus.
Cara Smith is a Chief Editor at HIVRNATestguide.Com (an HIV Testing company based in the United States). She holds a post-graduate degree in hospital and healthcare management. When she is not working, she loves to spend time with her family and friends.