The Importance of Lifelong Learning for Nursing Professionals

Why do we, as nursing professionals, have to put in effort to continuously learn?

The rate of progress in technology is growing at an exponential rate. The more things we discover, the faster we do it. What we learnt in nursing school 10 years ago might already be obsolete next year. As nurses, we are at risk of endangering our patients as our skills are steadily becoming more outdated.

Lifelong learning is a term that is freely being thrown around these past two decades. Lifelong learning means that education does not end at the academic level upon graduation; it means new skills, knowledge, and practices are always there to be learnt to improve oneself.

New Methods of Nursing

Take CPR, for example.

A vital procedure, many lives are saved with it. You would think that for something used so much in hospitals, it would be a science that’s very well established.

Unfortunately, no. Researchers and new observations change the way CPR is done. A decade ago, CPR was considered futile after a certain amount of time. Now, you are encouraged to not give up those chest compressions until medical help arrives.

Even the steps for CPR ten years ago are in different order. It used to be A-B-C; clear Airway, apply rescue breaths, then begin compressions. Now compressions come first and foremost. The reason is because rescue breaths lower chest cavity air pressure, slowing circulation (which is exactly what we do not want in cardiac arrest).

The new methods are more effective than the older ones. And it took only ten years for the old methods to become obsolete.

Not knowing the newer, more effective method could cost someone his/her life.

Renewing Your Nursing License

In Malaysia, you have to renew your license every year.

When you renew your license, they will check your CPD points: Continuous Professional Development points. These are points that you gain when you go for any nursing related courses.

For example, attend a Midwifery course and gain 5 CPD points. Attend a Wound Management course and get 3.

These points accumulate throughout the year, and when you want to renew your license, you need about 20-30 points. Otherwise, you will not be able to renew, thus leaving you without any form of registration. Meaning you can’t practice nursing!

Improving care towards patients

Nurses with a higher level of education are able to think more critically of their patients. They are able to aid in diagnosis, notice patterns in communication, and other physical cues that would help in determining the best course of treatment.

A nurse with a post-basic in cardiology is much more useful to a cardiologist compared to a general staff nurse. They can work together, exchange information, and execute procedures that the latter would not normally have the ability to do.

21st Century patients

Nowadays, patients are have more access to information than ever before. They are more learned, and have different set of expectations. They query a lot; so nurses have to be armed with the right set of information to cater to these patients. It goes a long way in establishing their trust towards you.

A good nurse-patient relationship is very important to achieve successful recovery.

Great nurses are always on the lookout for new, exciting, and better opportunities to grow their career. Find out your next employment with MIMS Career, a fast, secure, and convenient portal to connect you to top-class healthcare employers in MY, SG, ID, and PH.



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  1. Specialization tasks  
 2. Pathway  
 3. Common job scopes  
 4. Common terms  
 5. Career opportunities  

 Cardiology 

 Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory system the field includes medical diagnosis and treatment of  congenital heart defects ,  coronary artery disease ,  heart failure ,  valvular heart disease  and  electrophysiology . Physicians who specialize in cardiac surgery are called cardiothoracic surgeons or cardiac surgeons. The supporting role of the surgeons and physicians are  cardiology nurses . 

 Although the cardiovascular system is inextricably linked to blood, cardiology is relatively unconcerned with hematology and its diseases. Some obvious exceptions that affect the function of the heart would be blood tests, decreased oxygen carrying capacity, and  coagulopathies . 

   

  source: Resus.me  

 Specialization Tasks 

 All cardiologists study the disorders of the heart and all cardiology nurses are trained to take care of either adult or children conditions. This is due to differing aspects of training for adult and paediatric physiology. Surgical aspects are not included in cardiology and are in the domain of cardiothoracic surgery. 

 For example, coronary artery bypass surgery and cardiopulmonary bypass are both surgical procedures performed by surgeons, and not cardiologists. As a nurse, your task will be that of assisting the cardiologists in this matter. A properly-trained cardiology nurse would have the necessary critical thinking in order to draw conclusions to make meaningful impact of treatment. 

 Common tasks in the wards that you might have to do include the insertion of stents, pacemakers, and valves. 

 Pathway 

   

  source: verywell  

 Cardiology is a specialty of internal medicine. To be a cardiology nurse, a three-year work experience followed by a post-basic or relevant course is required. It is possible to sub-specialize in Malaysia. Recognized sub-specialties in cardiology for Malaysia are cardiac  electrophysiology ,  echocardiography,  interventional cardiology, and  nuclear cardiology . 

 Currently there is insufficient data for Malaysia, for salary, but it is guaranteed to be higher or on par with other similar nursing specialists. 

 Common job scopes 

 Cardiology is a vast field. Not only does it involve the heart and its systems, it also involves supporting systems such as haematology and its diseases. It is important to know and train for this when pursuing this specialization. 

 Cardiac electrophysiology 

   

  An example of echocardiography  

 This is the science of elucidating, diagnosing, and treating the electrical activities of the heart. The term is usually used to desccribe studies of such phenomena by  invasive catheter recording  of spontaneous activity as well as of cardiac responses to programmed electrical stimulations. These studies are performed to assess complex arrythmias, relieve symptoms, evauate abnormal ECGs, assess risk of developing arrhythmias in the future, and to design treatment. 

 Cardiac examination 

 The cardiology nurse is able to carry out cardiac examinations of patients. It is performed as part of a physical examination, or when a patient presents with chest pain suggestive of a cardiovascular pathology. It would typically be modified depending on the indication and integrated with other examinations especially the respiratory examination. Like all medical examinations, the cardiac examination follows the standard structure of inspection, palpation, and auscultation. 

 Paediatric cardiology 

   

  source  

 Paediatric cardiology is a specialty of paediatrics. To be a paediatric cardiology nurse, one must complete at least three years of registered working experience and pass all the required courses. Adult cardiology certifications are not valid due to differences in physiology in children. 

 Common complications that you will see as a nurse practicing paediatric cardiology are  paediatric hypertension ,  paediatric hyperlipidemia , heart palpitations and arryhthmias. 

 Diagnostic tests 

 Diagnostic tests in cardiology are the methods of identifying heart conditions associated with healthy vs. unhealthy pathology heart function. It is commonly started by obtaining a medical history, followed by auscultation. Blood tests soon precede after, and imaging can be done on a need-to-do basis. 

 Common terms 

 1. Tetralogy of Fallot 

 It is the most common congenital ehart disease arising in 1-3 cases per 1000 births. The cause of this defect is a ventricular septal defect and an overriding aorta. These two defects combined causes deoxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and going right back into the circulatory system. The modified  Blalock-Taussig  is used as a treatment for this condition. 

 2. Pulmonary atresia 

 This happens in 7-8 births per 100,000 and is characterized by the aorta brancing out of the right ventricle. It causes deoxygenated blood to bypass the lungs and enter the circulatory system. Fixing it can by done by a team of cardiologists and nurses by redirecting the aorta and fixing the right ventricle-pulmonary artery connection in surgeries. 

 3. Double Outlet Right Ventricle 

 Double outlet right ventricle is when both great arteries, the pulmonary artery and the aorta, are connected to the right ventricle. There is usually a ventricle in different particular places depending on the variations of DORV, typically 50% are subaortic. A VSD closure is the most common form of treatment for this condition. 

 Career opportunities 

 Search for  high-paying cardiology nursing jobs  on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are heavily screened to  prevent scams and mistrustful behavior . 
   

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A Career in Cardiology

1. Specialization tasks 2. Pathway 3. Common job scopes 4. Common terms 5. Career opportunities Cardiology Cardiology is a branch of medicine dealing with disorders of the heart as well as parts of the circulatory...

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  Photo cr: Unsplash  

 Mental Health 

 Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the “ psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment” . From the perspective of positive psychology or holism, mental health may include an individual’s ability to enjoy life, and create a balance between life activities and efforts to achieve  psychological resilience . 

 According to the World Health Organization (WHO), mental health includes “ subjective well-being, perceived self-efficacy, autonomy, competence, intergenerational dependence, and self-actualization of one’s intellectual and emotional potential, among others.”  Cultural differences, subjective assessments, and competing professional theories all affect how mental health is defined. 

 Mental health nurses play and important part in helping patients lead a positive life. It is not uncommon for physical disorders to arise from mental issues. It is a field that is growing in awareness. It is estimated that  40% of Malaysians will suffer from mental health issues in their lifetime . 

 Specialization tasks 

 Maintaining good mental health is crucial to living a long and healthy life. Mental health nurses are required to show a considerable amount of empathy towards their patients in assisting them to make a full recovery. Research has shown that there is stigma attached to mental illness. Therefore, it is extremely important that mental health nurses develop excellent observational skills in the treatment of the patient. 

 Activity therapies 

 Activity therapies, also called recreation therapy and occupational therapy, promote healing through active engagement. Making crafts can be a part of occupational therapy. It is very common for nurses to take patients on walks as part of this type of therapy. 

 Psychotherapy 

 Psychotherapy is the general term for scientific based treatment of mental health issues based on modern medicine. It includes a number of schools, such as  gestalt therapy ,  psychoanalysis ,  cognitive behavioral therapy  and  dialectical behavior therapy . 

 Legal requirements 

 Mental health nurses assist in the legal requirements for the patient. Requirements encompass the setting of the patient or a group of patients. 

 Progress monitoring 

 Mental health nurses may have roles that include visiting patients in their home to monitor their progress and carry out risk assessments. While carrying out this task, nurses assess the risks involved to the patients’ safety, health, and welfare. 

 Pathway 

 In order to specialize as a mental health nurse, you must be a registered nurse, practicing for a minimum of three years. A Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing is an advantage. You must take up a psychiatry-based training course with practical hands-on experience. For those courses, you may be able to get accreditation if you have a degree in psychology, or social work. 

 Required skills 

 You will need to display: 

 
	 
	 Exceptional observational skills. You will be required to assess patients and look out for signs of tension or anxiety, which sometimes are not that obvious. 
	 
	 
	 Physical fitness, especially when working in a hospital. Increased stamina and strength is an added bonus. 
	 
	 
	 Emotionally and spiritually resilient to work in a challenging environment. 
	 
 

 Job prospects 

 While a lot of work for mental health nurses is done in the hospital, the majority is community-based in a wide variety of settings. Some of them include community mental health centers, nursing homes for the elderly, rehab units, and private clinics. 

 Working conditions 

 Salaries for mental health nurses will depend on the level of education that they possess. Those with a BSN or MSN will earn more. The type of institution and experience that you have will also factor in your earnings. 

 It is important to have a calm demeanor and able to handle stress well as you will be working with many difficult patients with psychotic episodes. It can be rather jarring to those who are not used to it. However, when approaching these situations without judgement, many mental health nurses manage to overcome these issues and help the patients with their treatment. 

 Career opportunities 

 Search for high-paying mental health nursing jobs on  MIMS Career . Browse, save, and apply for nursing jobs, all in one-click. Take the opportunity for higher pay and better work locations. Our pages are all mobile-responsive, allowing you to take that leap for a better job whenever, wherever you are. All our job postings are heavily screened to  prevent scams and mistrustful behavior . 

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  Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization  

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Career Highlight: Specialty in Mental Health

Photo cr: Unsplash Mental Health Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of mental illness. It is the “ psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and...

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