General practice (GP) supports every member of a community. From babies to those in later life, everyone needs treatment for minor illnesses, injuries, and routine care from time to time. The GP surgery is often the first place that people visit when they are worried about their health, be it their mental or physical wellbeing. As a general practice nurse – also called a primary care nurse – you’ll provide the care and often treatment that people regularly need.
At Medacs, we connect people to both temporary and permanent primary care nursing jobs. Working closely with you, we’ll help you find the role that suits your career aspirations and hours preferences in a convenient location.
Being a general practice nurse
The role of a general practice nurse is a varied one. Not only do you work with people of all ages from all backgrounds, but you also deal with minor illnesses and injuries affecting every part of the body.
You’ll be involved in progressing treatment for patients, carrying out vital aspects of care including:
- Taking blood samples
- Managing minor and more complex wounds
- Child immunisations
- Electrocardiograms (ECGs)
- Screening and management of long-term conditions, such as asthma
- Sexual health services and family planning
- Men’s and women’s health services, including cervical smears
- Stop smoking services
- Updating medical records
- Guiding patients on how to take their medications effectively
- Diagnosing minor illnesses or referring patients to the doctor.
As a general practice nurse, you’ll give patients both medical and emotional support. You’ll take them through procedures that they might find scary, worrying or uncomfortable, to help them feel at ease. And you’ll lend an ear whilst they discuss their concerns and any emotional difficulties they are going through. Helping people in such a broad and impactful way is one of the reasons why general practice nurse jobs are so rewarding.
Being a primary care nurse also involves being part of a team. You’ll typically work in a GP surgery, community centre or clinic alongside other primary care nurses, doctors, pharmacists and dieticians. A benefit of this kind of teamwork is that you may share responsibilities with colleagues and get to know the people you work with really well.
Primary care nursing jobs are generally more predictable than those in emergency services. You usually care for patients who have pre-booked appointments, meaning you won’t typically have to do on-call work. You can also expect to work fairly standard office hours, though some early mornings and later evenings may be required for training or to support some clinics.
Qualifications for primary care nursing jobs
To become a general practice nurse, you must be qualified and registered, which could be in an area like child and adult nursing, or being a learning disability nurse or mental health nurse. You would need to register through the Nursing and Midwifery Council, and you’ll need a full Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check.
There are two main routes to getting qualified. You could do your degree before getting a job, or take a role as a healthcare assistant or assistant practitioner to develop your skills before doing your degree.
Key skills for general practice nurse jobs
Whilst your qualifications will train you for the practical side of your role as a general practice nurse, the job also requires a number of general skills and traits. These include:
- Good listening skills, so that you can tell how a person is feeling and respond supportively
- The ability to put people at ease and educate them
- A caring and compassionate nature with an excellent bedside manner
- Empathy and understanding
- Patience, especially when dealing with difficult patients
- The ability to stay calm in stressful situations
- The ability to multitask to manage lots of patients quickly
- Good time management and administrative skills
- Good organisation skills, especially if you lead a team of general practice nurses
- Basic IT skills
- English language skills.
Where can primary care nursing jobs take you?
As you progress in your career as a primary care nurse, you can take on more senior roles. These might include managing a team of people or having your own caseload of patients who you see regularly and design a treatment plan for. Alternatively, you could become a specialist in certain illnesses and types of care, such as diabetes.
Other routes include becoming involved with management of the GP practice, using your experience and expertise to teach others how to be become a primary care nurse, or getting involved with clinical research.
What’s next for your career?
Your next role could be just around the corner. Take a look at the current general practice nurse jobs on our website and apply for a role that suits you.
Remember, the team at Medacs is here to help you land that ideal role and keep your career progressing. Our consultants will take the time to get to know you and your ambitions to match you with jobs that suit the kind of flexibility you may be after. You’ll also work with a dedicated placement officer who can guide you through negotiating the likes of pay, and our Revalidation team will guide you through the process of re-registering as a primary care nurse.
Moving to the UK
If you are thinking of moving to the UK to join our excellent and progressive healthcare service, we can help you find the right role and make your move a success. We have a dedicated team of experts to help you through the process of moving to the UK. They will deal with everything from immigration requirements to finding somewhere to live and getting your family settled. You can find out more about ways we can help you move to the UK here.