Specialist nurses play a key role in the management of patient care. Working closely with doctors and other members of the multidisciplinary team, they educate and support patients, relatives and carers.
The specialist nurse has in depth knowledge of the physical, psychological and social effects of a specific condition.
Most specialist nurses are hospital based and have access to patient's medical records.
Some will visit patients in their own homes following discharge from hospital.
Some hospitals employ nurse specialists for:
- Blood disorders
- Care of the Elderly
- Learning disability
- Pain Management
- Renal Medicine
- Skin Disease
Community Psychiatric Nurses (CPNS)
CPNs are specialist nurses with the treatment and care of people with mental health disorders. They work both in hospitals with inpatients and with outpatients in the community where they see patients in clinics or visit in their homes.
CPNs work closely with general practitioners, psychiatrists, social services and voluntary groups. Some specialise in drug and alcohol dependency.
People with more severe mental health problems may be on supervised discharge from hospital and the community psychiatric nurse acts as the care co-ordinator.
CPNs administer drug treatment by regular injection, monitor the effects of treatment, and carry out psychotherapeutic techniques such as behaviour therapy and counsel patients and their carers.
Community matrons are highly experienced, senior nurses who work closely with patients (mainly those with a serious long term condition or complex range of conditions) in a community setting to directly provide, plan and organise their care.
For further information:
Reports from Specialist Nurses
Reports form the specialist nurse can provide details of the diagnosis, brief medical history, clinical examination findings, medication, treatment plan and response, variability of the condition, disabling effects and prognosis.
In people who have more than one medical condition, the specialist nurse may not be able to provide detailed information outside their own area of expertise or to be able to comment on multiple disabilities.
Amended May 2011