BSc Nursing Career & Study Advice from a BSc. Male Nurse Practitioner
Mr. Melvin Thomas speaks about his BSc Nursing Career experiences while working as a male nurse. He shares us about the nursing education, career opportunities, advantages and disadvantages of BSc Nursing career, work culture, international career opportunities, salary, and benefits etc. BSc Nursing career was once a sought-after career choice for females as well as males a few years back. Now the trend for males choosing this profession has drastically reduced due to the excess supply. Here Mr. Melvin tells us about the current trend in the industry.
After his 12th Grade from Holy Family Higher Secondary School, Kottayam. He joined for B.Sc. nursing degree at Gayathri College of Nursing which is under Rajiv Gandhi University, Bangalore in the year 2011. After successfully completing the BSc. Nursing Course he joined JHRC (Jabalpur Hospital & Research Center) Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh as Cardiac Unit staff nurse. He will explain us about the various educational opportunities for people interested to choose the nursing career.
Different Nursing Careers
There are mainly three different nursing careers people choose:
- General Nursing (Diploma Course)
- BSc. Nursing (Degree)
- MSc. Nursing (Post Graduate)
General Nursing course is for 3 Years, BSc. Nursing course is for 4 Years and MSc. Nursing can be done only after attaining a BSc. Nursing degree and a work experience for minimum 1 Year.
Those who have studied General Nursing can practice as a staff nurse or can go for a degree in B.Sc Nursing which is two years up gradation course called as Post BSc Nursing. General Nurses can take the profession of a nurse in any of the hospitals but BSc. Nurses can work with any hospital or they can choose a career of teaching at any nursing institutions. MSc. Nurses prefer to choose academic line though they can work as a nurse practitioner.
BSc Nursing as a Career
Melvin is less inclined to teaching, so he chooses to work with a JHRC hospital as Staff Nurse. It is a 350 bedded hospital situated in the heart of Jabalpur owned by Dr. Dheeravani. This hospital holds all kind of facilities and initially, he was sent to the Ward for understanding all the general activities for one month. Later on, he got appointed in the Cardiology department which is managed by Forts Hospital Group, New Delhi.
Melvin worked in this hospital for 1.5 years and then moved on to Manipal Hospital Bangalore. After working in Manipal Hospital, he moved to KIMS hospital Kochi and there also he did the same job in the Cardiology department. All who choose BSc Nursing as a career, the experience will be mainly in a single department as the selection there will be based on the experience. People will have the choice of shifting the department based on the vacancy. But generally, once they started their career with a department all their career life will be in the same section.
Generally, in the nursing profession, nurses can either work only in a single department or they can shift from one department to other as generalists. Hospitals prefer to have specialist nurses who are having expertise in a particular department. Doctors also prefer to have such nurses as their assistants. This is because while performing serious operations, these nurses assist them in giving the necessary types of equipment and medicines. So nurses who can sink with them are preferred. Sinking with the style of doctors requires experience and expertise. That is why Melvin says a nurse should specialize in a particular department. Even though he/she should have a basic necessary knowledge to work in other departments too. Because in case of emergency or shortage of staff in other departments they may be asked to work there as well. That time they will have to adjust to the situations of those departments. Fortunately, he got into the Cardiac department to start his career where he was interested.
Around 70% of the hospital jobs requires the service of Male Nurse Practitioners. Because of other than wards and pediatrics section, departments like casualty, CCU, ICU, Operation Theaters etc. needs the service of Male Nurse Practitioners. Mainly because most of the patients in departments like Cardiac weighs an average of 70Kg. For handling those patients safely, like moving them to bed from structures and vice versa involves a hardcore physical labor. It is difficult for the female nurses to handle such situations. Patients with chest pain are all very much irritable. So we need to hold them tight and give shock or medicines needs physical strength where male nurses have a major role to play.
Psychiatric hospitals is another place where Male nurse practitioners have a greater role to play. The psychiatric patients are heavily reactive and for controlling them it requires a lot of physical strength which male nurses can only handle. Also in Operation Theaters, male nurse practitioners are having same roles as that of the female nurses in assisting the doctors. Generally, female patients will be handled by female nurses whereas male patients will be handled by male nurse practitioners.
Another major scope of male nurses is in the Ambulance. For transferring patients from one location to another as well as in Air ambulance services male nurses are used. Nowadays doctors also prefer to have male nurses in such situations because they are more responsive in emergency situations especially for giving CPR (Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation). CPR is the case when a person comes with cardiac arrest, due to the sudden shock they will be unresponsive and to revert them to normal, they will give 30 compressions on the patient’s chest using both palms keeping together by giving full pressure. It needs good strength which male nurses can perform easily than females.
Working hours are normally 6 hours a day this time and there will be three shifts, like 7 AM to 1 PM, 1 PM to 7 PM and night shift will be of 12 Hours i.e. from 7 PM to 7 AM. There might be a change in the style based on demography.
BSc Nursing Career: Duties & Responsibilities
Major work locations of male nurses are Cardiac ICU, Medical ICU, Emergency/Casualty & Ward, and Operation Theater. The major duty of people who choose BSc Nursing career is to take care of the patients dedicated to them. They should give the prescribed medicines on time, make them do exercise, give them trips, do pressure & temperature checkups etc. Another major duty of a registered nurse is documentation of patient information. It will be file work or computer work depending upon the facilities provided by the hospitals. NABH & JCI accredited hospitals have a standard protocol for making the patient’s data on a software and this software stores the information about the full medical history of the patient for years. They will have a computer with individual user id and password where they need to update the medications given to the patients time to time. Sometimes they may have to clean the unit and make it clean and tidy, they will have to take the patients for X-rays and take urines for urine tests etc. In some cases, those patients who are not able to feed themselves need to be assisted for taking food. Some hospitals will have dedicated assistants for bathing or be wiping the bed-patients. Wherever they are not available, it is the responsibility of the nurse to perform all such duties.
Job as a Cardiology Nurse Practitioner
Cardiology nurse practitioners are also called as a cardiac nurse, cardiovascular nurse, cath lab nurse, cardiothoracic nurse, coronary care unit nurse etc. In the cardiac department people with MI (Myocardial Infarction), Cardiac Arrest, Chest Pain etc. are admitted. If there is any variation in their ECG patient will be admitted in the ICU/CCU. Here the Doctor will do a preliminary check called angiogram to see the blocks inside the coronary artery. If confirmed will suggest for angioplasty at the cath lab (catheterization lab).
The recovery patients will be then taken to the ICU/CCU. Here Melvin being a BSc Nurse is responsible to receive these patients, give them name tag, medicines, IV Fluid and also taking care in case of any bleeding at the puncture site etc. He believes Cardiac section is the best department for working as a male nurse. All new cardiac case admissions will first come to ICU and then moved to the cath lab, so he is also responsible to receive new admissions as well. In this job as a cardiology nurse practitioner, he was able to handle many cardiac cases like Chest Pain, Angina, Cardio Vascular Thoracic Surgery etc.
BSc Nurse Practitioner Salary
People who choose BSc nursing career will always be interested in knowing the salary and other financial benefits for different BSc Nursing career opportunities available around the world. Melvin says though there are different departments, there is no differentiation in salary and benefits. People in all department will be getting the same salary, and an increase is purely based on experience and promotions. This is a highly rewarding job if you choose a career abroad, especially in Europe, America and the Middle East Countries. This is the reason why most of the nurses prefer to go abroad after getting a few years of experience in India. Melvin says the scenario is gradually changing these days and the minimum basic salary for a fresh entrant has grown up to Rs.10, 000/- per month and for 3 to 5 years experienced people are getting in a range of Rs.20,000/- to Rs.50,000/- based on the hospital in India.
Those interested to choose BSc Nursing career in the European countries should have minimum experience of one year and they will have to clear IELTS examination with an individual score of 7. A recent development in the overseas migration for nurses is by qualifying OET (Occupational English Test) mainly for Australia, New Zealand & Singapore. Those who are interested to go for higher studies in advanced nursing courses like a social worker, palliative care etc. is another option to go to countries like Australia, Canada & New Zealand. For a BSc nursing Career in the Middle East countries, nurses have to qualify respective health department test of those countries where they are interested to go. Exams like HAAD & DHA for UAE, Prometric for Qatar, Oman and Saudi & MOH for Kuwait etc. are a popular choice by nurses. This certification helps them to get jobs in those countries Govt. hospitals with an average salary ranging from 1.5 Lake to 3 Lakh. Recently Israel & Jordan is also recruiting nurses from India. Another opportunity here is industrial nurses. This is mainly for males as it is mandatory for industries with a certain number of employees should appoint a nurse. As well as offshore rigs also employ nurses for giving immediate medications during emergencies. These are another major BSc Nursing career opportunities available around the world chosen by many nurses.
Registered BSc. Nurse Practitioners can also get a nursing job by working with Govt. hospitals. They are all well-paid job with a starting average salary of Rs.35000/- per month and for getting those, you will have to qualify respective govt. examinations if it is for a state Govt. hospital. For getting into Central Govt. hospital jobs they need to qualify the test by AIMS. Those who are interested in BSc Nursing career can also look in the Military services as they also recruit nurses. Ways to get into this job is either through military recruitment exams conducted for qualified nurses or as well as by participating in their entrance exams to their nursing colleges and then will be employed with the forces.
Advantages of Registered BSc Nursing Career
Melvin says the beauty of this nurse practitioner job is they can interact with different kinds of doctors and can learn about the conditions, signs, and symptoms of different cases. They will be able to learn about ECG and will also be able to identify what kind of attack after seeing an ECG report. They can also learn about some medicines and in case of some emergency, they can choose the right medicine. Also, there is a probability to maintain an interpersonal relationship with Doctors, Nurses, and Patients.
Disadvantages of Registered BSc Nursing Career
As per Melvin’s opinion time management is the major disadvantage he dislikes in his BSc nursing career. We need to work extra from the normal working hours of 6 Hours a day. This is the time taken for handing over the duty responsibilities to the next duty nurse. Sometimes at the time of shift change, a new admit will come. He then has to accommodate that patient, before leaving the duty. Generally, Nurse Practitioners are getting one off in a week. This leave can be any day in the week. They will not be getting Sunday’s off or even leave during Public Holidays as in other category jobs. Those holidays can be taken as Combo leave some other time by intimating the management in advance. Only Operation Theater nurses will be getting regular holidays and public holidays off.
BSc Nursing Career Growth Trends
A nurse generally starts his/her career as a staff nurse for first few years, then he will become team leader responsible for a group of nurses for a shift. The team leader will have an overall idea about all the patients his each team member is dedicated. After that, he will be promoted to Shift in Charge. So there he will be responsible for that particular shift and different team leaders report to him. Then after 7-8 years of experience, he will be promoted to In Charge of the department Say ICU. He will hold full responsibility there except the Doctor. Above him comes floor in charge and everything will be communicated to the floor nurse. Then comes the Infection Control. Each hospital will have their own protocol for authority. Above him comes the nursing superintendent. In Charge will represent the department for all official meetings at the management level.
What Melvin says is health industry is ever shining and people who are interested in BSc Nursing career is still having many opportunities coming up in the future especially in foreign countries. International level nursing is considered as a service rather than a profession. So lots of males are coming up in those countries to these professions compared to that in India.
Skills Required for Nurse Job
Clinical experience and ability to handle & take care the patient is what ranks you. Recruiters will only look for your knowledge and skills to work in the department. So make sure you are earning all those skills and knowledge while doing your course and during your initial working years. The skills you acquire only will make you fly high.
Melvin is saying nursing as a career is good for people who love to deal with people. This is the job where we can care people and get their love. Nurses should be soft heartened and they have to be vigilant in their job. This is a job which requires a great level of patience and a high degree of concentration. Because if a medicine changes while giving to a patient, the consequence is beyond imagination. When moving from one hospital to other the only difference he felt is the style of work. It is purely based on the doctors. One doctor is different from other in his method of doing a job. So nurses should have the capability to adjust to those situations.
Up-Skilling for Nurses
There are few specialization courses available for up-skilling for BSc Nurses. It will help them specialize in those sections. This will also help them change their career from a regular nurse job. Some well-known hospitals are providing such courses like:
- Cardiac Specialization
- Operation Theater Specialization
- Medical Coding
- Medical Transcription
- Medical Billing
Best Institutes for Study in the Country
Following are the main institutes for nursing study in the country:
- AIIMS, Delhi(All India Institute of Medical Science)
- Government Medical Colleges
- TATA Memorial Hospital, Mumbai
- Kokilaben Dhirubhai Ambani Nursing College
- Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka
- Vydehi Medical College, Bangalore
- SME Kottayam
- Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences
- Pushpagiri Medical College, Thiruvalla
- Apollo Hospital Group
Course fees are on an average Rs.2.4 Lakh to Rs.4.5 Lakh for BSc. Nursing depending upon college and hospital. Post BSc Nursing is costing you around 1 Lakh to 1.5 Lakh total. General Nursing (GNM will cost you around Rs.1 Lakh to Rs.1.5 Lakh in total and MSc. Nursing will cost you around 1.25 to 1.5 Lakh total. You will have to contact colleges for getting a clear picture of the fee structure. Food, Accommodation, Travel & all other expenses have to consider extra from the said expenses. Several Banks are providing loan facilities for the course. Melvin says, always try to get admissions in Medical College Hospitals. These hospitals will give the students a real exposure along with the studies. They are daily experiencing what they learning in the classrooms compared to the normal nursing colleges. Students coming out of such colleges have the capability to work well when they start working compared to other nursing students. They require less mentoring and training from the seniors at the hospitals as they are used to the jobs during their studies.