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.



Other Articles



 
	  See if the offer is too good to be true  
	  There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment  
	  You get the job right away  
	  Unprofessional job interviews  
 

 Job scams 

 In 2013, a South African registered nurse was approached by a man outside the hospital she worked in. The 25-year old man was a recruitment agent for the  KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) Department of Health . He offered her a job at another institution, for better pay and work hours. 

 The nurse saw this as a great opportunity. She accepted it, and he produced a contract and offered her the job.  Then he requested USD220 in cash for the job.  

 Thankfully, the nurse grew suspicious, and realized she was being scammed. She immediately alerted hospital staff who arrested the man. 

   

 Grey's Hospital, where the incident happened. 

 That could have ended a lot worse. Luckily in that nurse's case, she was able to spot the scam job offer. It is hoped that this post can help you to spot these harmful acts and avoid costing you your precious time, money, and dignity. Scammers know that finding a job can be tough, and they trick people by advertising where real employers do. 

 Scams are endlessly creative! This list might not encompass all of them, but it will help you in detecting these harmful job scams. 

 
 1. See If The Offer Is Too Good To Be True 

 If it seems like you’ve landed yourself the best offer in the world,  DON’T . The hiring managers will say something to you like: 

 
 You can earn as much as you want, there is no upper limit on your salary. You decide what you earn. You can earn USD5,000 in one week by working at home! 
 

 Run away as fast as you can. These scams like to prey on those desperate for a new job. They take advantage of your desperation by having you excited of their offer. Once they’ve gotten you on their hook, those “employers” can start to demand money, information, and time, just to get your application moving. 

  Watch out for:  

 
	 Really high pay with low amount of working hours 
	 Ability to work anywhere, anytime 
	 Really shady phrases, like “ Drive the sports car you’ve ever wanted after only a few months’ work! ” or " Earn USD3000 by only working FOUR HOURS a week! " 
	 The person contacting you is the President or CEO or other executive level staff. Most of the time, the highest-ranking person contacting you for a job offer is some type of manager or human resources employee. 
 

 2. There is a fee to be paid to "process" your employment 

   

 If the hiring manager contacts you again and informs you that you have to pay [insert amount here] to complete your application, forget it. 

 You might see overseas job offers requiring you to pay a few hundred dollars to "process" your application. They'll claim it's to secure your employment. To sweeten the deal, some of them claim that you'll get back the money within days after you get in the company/institution. 

  Here are the most common ways job scams use to cheat your money, like:  

 
	 Buying their software 
	 Paying a fee to complete your application 
	 Sign up for some insurance program that deducts money from your account every month 
 

 Job scammers make all kinds of promises about your chances of employment, and an astounding amount of them require you to pay them for their services to employ you. It's important to note that the promise of a job is  not  the same thing as a job. If you have to pay for that promise, it's most definitely a scam. 

 3. You get the job right away 

 You get the job, without much interviewing, or even applying through anything. The "offer" gets sent to your inbox. They often mention that they got your email from Jobstreet, CareerBuilder, or LinkedIn. 

  Most of the time, these job offers are sent with emails that are similar to emails of legitimate employers. Be careful!  

 
 Imagine if a David Chen from  Ramsay Sime Darby  emailed you about a sweet job offer. If he really worked at RSD, his email would be something like david.c@simedarby.com. Watch out for david.c.simedarby@gmail.com, david.c@gmail.com, david.chen.HR.simedarby@yahoo.com, etc. 

 When in doubt, call up the company and ask for that employee! 
 

  A real company would want to talk to a candidate before hiring him or her.  

 4. Unprofessional job interviews 

   

 Look out for interviews online, such as over  Facebook Messenger . Worse still, are interviews using a software that the scammer asks you to install on you computer. You will risk having your computer infected with harmful malware that can  record what you type  ,  activate your webcam without notifying you , and  hold your personal information as ransom . 

 Look out for interviewers with bad grammar or spelling. If it doesn't seem like what a real professional company would say, don't trust it. 

 
 With some common sense, and a bit of suspicion, you can easily spot scam job offers. The rule of thumb is that if it looks too good to be true, sounds too good to be true, and seems to good to be true, then it's definitely not true. Also look out for shady characters and language. 

 As mentioned above, there is no limit to the creativity of these scam artists and their job offers. The tips mentioned above might cover  ALL  the scam job methods out there, but at least you'll be better prepared, and more aware that these things can happen. 

 As a healthcare-focused job portal site,  MIMS Career  takes the legitimacy of any employer and job posting  very seriously . We screen employers thoroughly, contacting them at various levels, to determine authenticity of said employers. Our  privacy policy  also dictates that we  never  share your personal information to unrelated third parties, nor do we sell them. 

 The next time you're in search of a job, apply through  MIMS Career . Sign up, fill in your details, and apply for job vacancies from top healthcare institutions in  Malaysia ,  Singapore ,  Indonesia , and the  Philippines  with one click. 

 Browse through our extensive database of job postings, updated daily. Our pages are mobile-responsive, so you can save jobs you're interested in on your desktop, and continue reading about it and apply later on your phone. 

 Can't find what you're looking for? Set a job alert, and we'll notify you once a job with your preferences is made available. Sign up now with  MIMS Career . It's fast, convenient, and secure. We do the hard work of verifying scam jobs so you won't have to. 
   

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 How do we define a great nurse? Is it one that fully accomplishes his/her tasks? Completes her shifts well without any issues? 

 Great nurses are those who alleviate suffering and heal the body, mind, and soul. 



 Compassion 

 Compassion is the feeling of concern and sympathy for others. 

 The word compassion literally means to “suffer together.” It arises when a person sees another suffering, and feels a deep desire to relieve the said suffering. It is a central tenet of nursing; the very mature of the work originates from the compassion of individuals to relieve suffering and pain. 

 A compassionate nurse will always do what is right for her patients. In times of fatigue, tiredness, or exhaustion, compassion for that patient will drive this nurse to trudge onwards and do her job. 

  On developing compassion:  

 
 Make it a daily practice: Think about it in the morning during rounds. At night during late shifts. When you talk to patients. It is a simple philosophy of kindness. 
 If you’re finding it hard to develop compassion in your nursing life, remind yourself that everyone you meet is seeking happiness, avoiding suffering, has lost something, and is learning about what it means to be human. 
 Think about a person you know who’s recently suffering. Imagine if the suffering happened to you. Now imagine if there is another person who realizes your situation and is trying her very best to make you feel better. You would appreciate that a lot. 
 This helps you develop the feeling of wanting to relieve others’ suffering, which is the definition of compassion. 
 

 Compassion has many benefits: it has been proven that compassionate people produce 23% less cortisol, the “stress” hormone. 

 Empathy: 

 The ability to understand and share the feelings of another. 

 Understanding the feelings of patients is crucial to their recovery. 

 It does not mean you completely understand what they are going through. It also does not mean you agree with everything they are feeling. 

 It means that you are willing to make a voluntary effort to listen to them and understand their challenges. 

 It is shown that patients are more receptive to treatments when they feel that their caregivers understand their situation. 

  On developing empathy:  

 
 It needs to be done without judgement. 
 Everyone has a different set of values. Two similar patients can have completely different challenges. 
 Understand what they are fighting against, and what they are fearful of. Use it to better develop a relationship with your patient, so he/she may continue to recover holistically. 
 



 Selflessness 

 The ability to think less about ourselves, and more about other people. Nurses need this trait, mostly for their own benefit over the patient’s. 

 Being selfless means to give to others at the expense of their own selves. By being selfless, it makes working the stressful nursing life a lot better. 

 Some nurses miss their lunches just to hold their patient’s hand. Some stay up the night to make sure their patient manages to live through it. 

 The reason why these kind of nurses are great is that they would do it all over again. For many more years to come. They also have to. Selflessness prevents these nurses from burning out on their work by caring for others more. 

  On developing selflessness:  

 
 Take pleasure in the happiness of your patients. 
 Don’t hurt another person for the sake of hurting them. 
 Watch your selfish thoughts; like when a patient irritates you, threatens you, you get the idea. That kind of thinking gets in the way of compassion as well. 
 

  Good communicator  

 Not only will you be needing to administer IVs, triage patients in the ER, or carry out CPR, you will also need to be dealing with your patients as humans. 

 There are instances where you will have to help patients and their relatives to understand their medical situation, in a comprehensible way. 

 Moreover, you will need to deal with your superiors, and sometimes you might not agree with what they would have you do. Being a solid communicator allows you to express those feelings of disagreement, and come to a favorable conclusion. 

 If deciding to go into teaching, being a great communicator is essential that you can impart your knowledge onto junior nurses effectively. 

  On developing communication skills:  

 
 Practice practice practice. Try to be as understandable as possible. It helps to realize what kind of patient or relative you’re talking to, their proficiency in the language you speak and their terminologies. 
 Some states of malaysia have a different colloquial grammar compared to the standard Bahasa. It helps to understand these nuances in language. Mirror their way of speaking and you’ll come off as more approachable. 
 Never EVER condescend someone else for not understanding what you were trying to tell them. More often than not it is the inability of the speaker to explain, not the inability of the listener to understand. 
 

  Possess mental fortitude  

 Some days are pleasant. Some are rewarding. 

 But some are difficult. Some are downright devastating, like when you lose a patient you cared for. 

 It is important not to let these things mentally incapacitate you, and compromise your ability to care for your patients. 

 It is okay to feel sad, angry, frustrated, or even shattered. We are all human. 

 Great nurses have the mental fortitude to weather these types of events. It might not be easy, but they still return to practise their art of healing. 

  On developing mental fortitude:  

 
 Identify the obstacle in your path. Is it a difficult patient? An angry relative? Death? 
 Understand how your emotions are making you react. Are you upset? Why? 
 Know that the obstacle can sometimes be the way. A difficult patient can teach you patience. An angry relative can teach you to deal with irrational people with stride. Death can teach you to be compassionate of other people’s loss. 
 

 Focus on making the obstacle that’s disturbing you. Ask yourself, “If I can’t solve this for myself, how can I make this better for othe people?” 



 Calm under pressure 

 Great nurses remain calm and composed under great duress. 

 Diamonds are forged under high pressure. Great nurses too, are like that; the do not cave under the load, they emerge stronger and better. 

 Being calm under pressure-filled situations allows you to perceive problems with better accuracy. It leads to better decision making, which can mean life or death for your patients. 

 Remain calm, and you will make better sense of things around you. 

  On developing mental calm:  

 
 The events that we see as negative all have a positive benefit that we can act on. A computer glitch that destroys your work in the hospital is now an opportunity to become two times better at your job because you’re going to do it twice. 
 Having a terrible supervisor in the wards is now an opportunity to learn from his/her faults while you fill up your resume and look for better opportunities elsewhere.  
Being mentally calm is seeing through the negative, past its underside and through to the positive. 
 



 Lifelong learner 

 A carpenter is only as good as the tools he is given. 

 Same thing applies to a nurse. However, in this case, the tools to a nurse are her knowledge and skillset. 

 A diverse skillset will make you valuable at a lot of situations. 

 A deep understanding of a certain skillset will make you highly valued at that field. 

 Whatever it is, learning new things and constantly studying to make yourself better is always a good idea. 

  On developing lifelong learning skills:  

 
 Develop a passion for the latest advancements in nursing policy, technology, and laws. The changes in those areas will ultimately affect the future of your work. 
 Have a career plan, and work towards getting the skills, certifications, or knowledge that you need to move on to the next stage of your career. 
 Follow great medical podcasts to listen to on your commute. 
 Subscribe to nursing-related journals and publications, and make it a point to read in your spare time. 
 



 Conclusion 

 It is said that in times that require greatness,  we do not rise to the occasion but we fall back on our training.  These habits may not be in you, but with deliberate and constant practice, you can cultivate these, and continue on your path of becoming not only a good nurse, but a great one. 

 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.

Develop These 7 Habits To Become A Great Nurse

How do we define a great nurse? Is it one that fully accomplishes his/her tasks? Completes her shifts well without any issues? Great nurses are those who alleviate suffering and heal the body, mind, and soul. Compassion...

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 Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The goal of such therapy is to improve quality of life for both the person and their family. 

 Palliative care is provided by a team of physicians, nurses, physiotherapists, occupational therapists and other health professionals who work together with the primary care doctors and referred specialists. It is appropriate at any age and at any stage in a serious illness and can be provided as the main goal of care of along with curative treatment. 

 Although it is an important part of end-of-life care, it is not limited to that stage. Palliative care can be provided across multiple settings including in hospitals, in the patient’s home, as part of the community palliative care programs, and in nursing facilities. Spiritual support is often provided in more interdisciplinary teams. 

 When a medicine or treatment relieves symptoms, but has no curative properties, it is said to be palliative. The word noncurative is sometimes paired with palliative for clarification purposes. 

 Scope 

 Palliative care is for patients with any serious illness and who have a physical or mental distress as a result of the treatment they are undergoing. Palliative care increases comfort by reducing pain, alleviating symptoms, and lessening stress for the patient and family. It is mutually beneficial for both patient and caregiver. 

 Emergency care nurses and doctors have a critical role to begin discussions with patients and their families regarding palliative care as they see them go through difficult times in life. 

 Paediatric palliative care is a rapidly growing subset of this field, and services directed specifically for children with serious illness are in dire need of this. 

 Responsibilities 


 
  Assessment of symptoms
 

 A method fr the assessment of symptoms in patients admitted to palliative care is the Edmonton Symptoms Assessment Scare, in which there are eight visual analog scales of 0 to 10, indicating the levels of pain, activity, nausea, depression, anxiety, drowsiness, appetite and sensation of well-being. On the scale, 0 means absent, and 10 means the worst imaginable possible. Medications are often managed at home by family or nursing support. 


   Further actions 

 Effective methods to ensuring successful palliative care is to provide a safe way for the individual to address their physical and psychological distress, that is to say their total suffering. 

 Dealing with total suffering involves addressing a wide range of concerns, starting with treating physical symptoms such as pain, nausea, and breathlessness. The palliative care teams have become very skillful in prescribing drugs for physical symptoms, and have been instrumental in showing how drugs such as morphine can be used safely while maintaining a patient’s full functions. 

 
  Importance of counselling
 

 Usually, a palliative care patient’s concerns are pain, fears of the future, uncertainties, and worries of their family and feeling like a burden. There are counselling, visual methods, cognitive therapy, and relaxation therapy to deal with it. 

 Pallliative care sees an increasingly wide range of conditions in patients at varying stage of their illness it follows that palliative care teams offer a range of care. This may range form managing the physical symptoms in patients receiving treatment for cancer, to treating depression in patients with advanced disease, to the care of patients in their last days and hours. 

 Training 

 In most countries hospice and palliative care is provided by an interdisciplinary team consisting of physicians, pharmacists, registered nurses, nursing assistant, social workers, and others. The focus on the team is to optimize the patient’s comfort. 

 Nurses in palliative care are given extensive training in counselling, medication dispensing, and support. The aim is about relieving distressing symptoms for the patient. Nurses are also part of the management of the imminently dying patient, more so than the physicians or doctors themselves. 

 Work Opportunities 

 The work opportunities that we get is aplenty. Palliative care is often used interchageably as a term with hospice care, albeit some slight differences. They share some similar goals of providing symptom relief and pain management. Palliative care services can be offered to any patient without restriction to disease or prognosis, and can be appropriate for anyone with a serious, complex illness, whether they are expected to recover fully or not. 

 Hospice is a type of care involving palliation without curative intent. usually it is used for people with no further options for curing their disease or in people who have decided to not pursue treatment that is hard on them. 

 Typically hospice and palliative care nurses work in non-hospital settings.

Career Highlight: Palliative Care

Palliative care is a multidisciplinary approach to specialized medical care for people with life-limiting illnesses. It focuses on providing people with relief from the symptoms, pain, physical and mental stresses of the terminal diagnosis. The...

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