As some of you may know, I absolutely love general practice. This was my last placement and I fell completely in love with it all. I already had high expectations before I started but this went above and beyond every single one of them.
I have some amazing and exciting news for you all. On the 17th October 2018 the fantastic General Practice Nurse Student Nurse Network (GPNSNN) was launched. I am now an official GPN student nurse ambassador. We are a team of motivated and positive individuals who want to share and promote general practice nursing (GPN). I am also here to erase the myths that are going around about GPN’s right now:
- GPN is somewhere to retire to
- You can’t work as a newly qualified nurse in general practice
- You will lose your ‘nursing skills’
Those are my top 3 favourite myths that I am here to get rid of.
- GPN is not somewhere you purely retire to. And I’m assuming that the assumption is (correct me if I’m wrong), that it’s more of a relaxed environment where the nurses don’t work as much? Which is nonsense, during my placement within the GP setting I worked so hard! I was rushed off my feet most days. Not only this, but why wouldn’t you want a long and happy career rather than ‘retire to’ somewhere?
Here is what GPN’s do, which is not limited to this list (if you do anything that I have missed let me know so I can add it here)…
• Hypertension clinics
•Asthma / COPD clinics
• Wound management
•Travel / baby vaccines
• Contraception and sexual health
• Minor surgery (depending)
• New patient assessment
• Home visits (depending)
• Cervical Smear testing
•Blood tests (depending)
2. You CAN absolutely apply and work as a GPN straight away as newly qualified nurses. Not only this but there is a whole GPN 10 point plan aimed at promoting GP nursing as a first career choice for student nurses!
3. Lose your ‘nursing skills’ – One of my favourite sayings. Firstly, I would like to ask people, what skills do you think you would lose being in a general practice setting? The only ‘skills’ I can think of is IV’s and cannula removals? It can be very offensive to GPN’s that anyone can say a GPN is ‘de-skilled’ when they are the most fantastic and amazing nurses I have seen. They use every skill going to provide the best care possible to the patient. They see the patients in a holistic way that cares for their every need rather than just a symptom. They truly are the 6 C’s of nursing in one and it shows. GPN’s still have to assess patients, do a skin check, wound management, even catheter management! Also, they are being trained to do IV’s at home now as more patients are being cared for within their own homes. No nurse is ever de-skilled in my opinion.
All I ask of you, is to open your mind to general practice nursing and please pass on this information to those students who have been put off due to hearing these myths above. If you are a university or even a company who is holding any events / conferences, we would love to hear from you! We’d love to come and talk to others about general practice nursing and get people passionate like we are.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me or leave a comment. Don’t forget to go check out our twitter page: @GPNSNN.
Thanks everyone, have a great day / evening.