Think About These 5 Things Before You Decide On A Specialization

Now that you’re a registered nurse, what’s next? You’ve completed nursing school, gone on to work a few years and have gained experience in some wards. You decide that you want to pursue a specialization, for their multiple career growth benefits. Or maybe it’s for the higher salary that you have the potential to earn as a specialized nurse.

But hold your horses. While the benefits can be very enticing, choosing a specialization demands time, energy, and finances that you must be willing to sacrifice for a set period of time. You might not even see immediate benefits; they might come later in your career.

Still interested? Good. The nation needs more nurses like you. Ambitious nurses who are passionate about developing themselves and striving towards self-improvement. Here are five things your should consider before choosing your nursing specialty.

1. What Is Your Motivation To Pursue This Specialty?

What do you want to achieve by becoming a renal nurse? A perioperative nurse? A geriatric nurse?

You need to know what is exactly the reason for your interest in the specialty field of your choice. You want to help others? Is money a motivating factor? These are all acceptable reasons. If you are thinking of pursuing a specialization because of a family member or friend’s influence, that is fine, as long as your goals and objectives are in line with theirs.

Ultimately you are the one who has to go through and live with the decision. Knowing what motivates you will help you stay focused and succeed later, even through trying times.

2. How Are You Going to Obtain the Education and Training Needed for Your Specialization?

You should research a bit about the diplomas, post-basic certifications, degrees, and training courses that are required for the specialty you wish to take.

You can read up our guide to career advancement for nurses here.

Being a high-level nurse is a remarkable investment of money and time. It would be wise for you to think out how to pay for your education, and balance doing that with completing the required coursework.

If you have only a diploma in nursing and need to obtain your BSN degree from an expensive institution, a bit of planning ahead can help you save up for tuition fees. Some universities offer financial assistance that you can take advantage of.

Read here for our article on how to increase your income as a nurse. Every little increase in salary helps over time. It could mean the difference in you being able to take that course next year, or in two more years.

3. Does This Specialization Fit Your Strengths And Personality?

Not good around kids? Finding it hard to connect with younger patients? Then don’t take up paediatric nursing.

Are you a high-energy, challenge-seeking nurse that likes difficult situations? Or do you love to be in a more stable setting, working one day at a time, employing your full focus on things that matter? Are you an introvert? Extrovert?

Each specialization requires different skillsets and personality traits. Consider this well and evaluate how the work would mesh with your personality.

4. How Will This Impact Your Family And Personal Life?

Think wisely and carefully about this. Consider how your family might be affected if you have to work nights, weekends, or on call. Some courses are done at night after work.

Some employers do not grant study leave to their nurses. Think about how your family might be financially impacted if you were to quit your current job in order to study.

It is imperative you give it some thought now before you make the leap into your specialization.

5. Where Do You Want To Work?

Based on your working experiences, where do you think you’d like to work? Most importantly, which type of environment would you be most comfortable, and most successful?

If working conditions at hospitals are too hectic and large, then specializing as a cardiac nurse in cardiology would not be a good idea. Maybe you’d like to work more regular hours, in a small nursing center. Specializing in nephrology to become a renal/dialysis nurse would be a great idea. Some would also opt to practice nursing independently, doing house calls. A specialization in home care would be the best course of action.

Do you want to work near where you live? Or are you willing to move to another city for better prospects? Don’t limit yourself! Nurses are still needed at places you wouldn’t normally think of, like military bases or schools.

To get an idea of what nursing jobs are available in the area you wish to work in, check out our job portal, MIMS Career. Search for nursing jobs across Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines. New jobs and vacancies are being updated every day. Browse through our extensive database, and apply with our convenient 1-click process.



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 Introduction 

 Community health is the focus of the health of a population of a community group, rather than on individuals. It is a very distinct field of medicine and nursing, and therefore must be taught in a separate school of public or community health. 

 The health of a community in the current socio-economic climate poses many challenges that need to be overcome. There are many work opportunities that offer different kinds of responsibilities and skills that healthcare professionals are encouraged to look into. 

   

 In history, there are a few diseases that have caused a big impact to the world; such diseases include smallpox, polio, measles and mumps. Whilst largely eradicated today, these were debilitating diseases that caused the death of millions, often in a very short span of time. Their eradication is due to large movements by governing bodies to curb these diseases by education and clinical methods to promote mass immunities. More recently, outbreaks like dengue, malaria, and HIV/AIDS continue to pose a threat to the health and well-being of local communities. 

 Community health has caused a lot of good even in non-medical sectors. Mandatory schooling was put into place after it was found that the industrial revolution workplace was detrimental to their well-being. The science of epidemiology (the study of diseases) came about after efforts to understand cholera were being propagated by the British. Also, stronger health and safety standards for foods brought about a remarked interest in wholesome foods for the European population. 

 Why is it important? 

 Herd immunity contains the spread of contagious diseases. It is the basis on which community health (or public health, depending on which region of the world you’re from) is formed upon. 

 Herd immunity is a concept in which most members of the community are protected against that disease because there is little opportunity for an outbreak. 

 Vaccines are used extensively in this; influenza, measles, mumps, rotavirus, and several dangerous pneumococcal strains are kept at bay due to herd immunizations. These debilitating diseases are extremely dangerous when left to infect a large community. It can cause losses of life, economic downturns, and even social upheaval. 

   

 There is a growing anti-science and anti-vaccination movement that is seriously undoing all the work physicians, researchers, and epidemiologists have done. These people are averse to any form of scientific and health information that they put their communities at risk because they shun vaccinations and community health practices. 

 A major part of community health lies in the communication of healthcare. When the anti-vaccine crowd refuse to immunize their children, it puts their children and the children of others at risk of conntagions that would normally be of no issue. This fracture in the community is enough to bring back long-eradicated bugs into modern society. It is a major issue to address amongst community health practitioners, doctors, and nurses. 

 How does the work look like? 

 Community health is divided into three: primary, secondary, and tertiary. While loosely related, they all have differing lines of work, responsibility, and career progression. 

 Primary 

 Primary community healthcare focuses on the individual. These are interventions like  hand-washing, personal hygiene, immunization, circumcision, diet , and so on. 

 Health communication is key in this area. One can be a nurse, but when working in primary he/she can be a speaker to communicate these practices to the public. 

 Secondary 

 This concerns the  environment . The draining of puddles to prevent mosquito breeding, spraying of insecticides to avoid disease vectors like cockroaches , and clearing of rubbish to address rat populations are all part of this. 

 Tertiary 

 Tertiary healthcare consists of  clinical interventions . Things like rehydration, surgery, and so on. 

 How to work in community health? 

 Your options are pretty wide. You can check out the public, education, private, and non-profit sectors. 

 In the public sector, institutes like IMR (Institute of Medical Research) work closely with the Ministry of Health (KKM) to deploy methods in increasing the health and wellness of Malaysians as a population. Recently they are doing extensive work combating childhood obesity with they  myBFF (My Body is Fit and Fabulous) program . 

 The education sector will be rife of opportunities for clinicians who wish to work in a non-clinical setting. Universities, schools and colleges are potential work areas. 

 The private sector has a lot of companies waiting to get into the healthcare industry as a business. Our company  MIMS  provides timely information to educate the public and healthcare professionals on latest issues on healthcare. Also we provide a drug information service that physicians and consumers can search any time, anywhere. 

 Non-profit organizations like MAKNA (National Cancer Council Malaysia), or NKF (National Kidney Foundation) hire employees with a clinical background to help them raise awareness of the diseases or patients that they focus on. They constantly look out for people to help them with communication, treatments, and financing. 

 Career Progression 

 Search about these points below to know more about your potential career paths: 

 
	 Biostatistics programs 
	 Environmental health and science programs 
	 Social behavioral programs 
	 Epidemiology programs 
	 health services and administration programs 
 

 Search for high-paying 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.

Career Highlight: Community Health

Introduction Community health is the focus of the health of a population of a community group, rather than on individuals. It is a very distinct field of medicine and nursing, and therefore must be taught in a separate school of public or...

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