The profession of a nurse is demanding and responsible, you are the first point of contact for patients and relatives. Without qualified nursing staff there would be no functioning hospital business. For some years now, the job title of nurse has been renamed health care nurse and is thus increasingly aimed at prevention.
If you want to start with a training as a nurse, you should thoroughly inform yourself in advance about the scope of activities – not everyone is made for the complexity of the profession. What you have to pay attention to, how the training proceeds, what prerequisites you should bring with you and what prospects and salary prospects there are for this profession, is highlighted in the following overview.
What does a nurse do?
Nurses take care of sick people. Duties include basic care of patients, assistance with mobilization and movement to food intake and appropriate assistance with it. Other areas of responsibility are wound care, the distribution of medication and the observation thereof, the placement of infusions and the support of doctors in various activities.
Nurses must be able to determine whether improvements or deteriorations or even complications of the patient's health condition occur in order to report them to the doctor. The treatment plan is then fine-tuned together so that the best possible care can be provided for the patient. Other tasks include documentation and planning to ensure that patients receive appropriate care after hospitalization. Advise patients on how best to manage their condition so as not to suffer a relapse.
Like any other profession, it has its ups and downs. The physical and psychological stresses in nursing are relatively high. It's about health and illness, about living and dying. You always run the risk of taking some of it home with you. One should not underestimate that and honestly question oneself whether one is up to it. The nursing profession also includes shift work, which can sometimes be a real challenge. It is not particularly family and health friendly. When you're young, you can handle it quite well, but as you get older, it becomes much more difficult to switch between early, late and night shifts. However, these working hours can also bring variety and make fun.
Nurse – training
What exactly is in store for one? On 1. January 2020, the new Nursing Act and the new Training and Examination Ordinance came into force. The nursing apprenticeships have been reorganized – d.h. all previous training in geriatric, nursing and pediatric nursing has been merged and all trainees in these areas now complete a common training as a nurse in the first two years. Only after this, in the third year, can you then choose your desired focus and obtain a degree in the field of geriatric, nursing or pediatric nursing.
Admission requirements are a Realschulabschluss (middle school leaving certificate) or a Hauptschulabschluss (secondary school leaving certificate) with an already completed vocational training. A medical certificate of health suitability is also required.
In addition, the attitude to the profession is very important, trainees should therefore bring joy and commitment, be a team player and careful. Especially in such a social field, where you have very close contact with people and patients, empathy is essential. It is also advisable to be aware of the wide range of activities involved. In any case, one should not be afraid of contact and should find out in advance what one is getting into. You must have the ability to switch gears quickly – from routine work to acute emergencies.
Good grades in the subjects biology, chemistry and physics, but also in ethics, mathematics and German are welcome as well as a great interest in scientific content and medical contexts.
Form and structure of training
The training is divided into theory and practice. Instruction at the vocational school takes place in classes. Also includes working through learned material independently at home. During the three years of training, you have a total of 2.100 theoretical hours. Of which 1.600 joint hours of nursing and pediatric nursing and another 500 hours specializing in the field of health care and nursing. The following hourly distribution is specified for the following areas:
– Knowledge of health care and nursing as well as pediatric nursing and nursing and health sciences – 950 hours in total – nursing-relevant knowledge of natural sciences and medicine – 500 hours – nursing-relevant knowledge of humanities and social sciences – 300 hours – nursing-relevant knowledge of law, politics and economics – 150 hours – freely distributable hours, depending on projects and school – ca. 200 hours
During the practical phases in the clinic, trainees work hands-on under supervision, preparing examinations and monitoring patients. You will learn there how to deal professionally with patients and those in need of care. There is a change of wards and specialist medical departments during the three years of training, as well as a regular change of working hours (early, late and night duties). The cooperation with doctors and other nurses as well as occurring crisis situations and complications are practiced and mastered. In addition, one is in close contact with the relatives. Explains them the right care. In total there are another 2.500 practical hours in addition. These are determined as follows:
– Health care and nursing of people of all ages in inpatient care – 800 hours (general training) – Health care and nursing in outpatient care – 500 hours (general training) – Inpatient nursing in internal medicine, surgery and psychiatry – 700 hours (specifically for health care and nursing students) – Freely distributable hours – 500 hours
It is also possible to complete the training as a dual course of study in four years to obtain a Bachelor of Science degree. Requires both a training contract and a place to study. So, while you finish your training after three years, you still have one year of full-time studies to complete. There you will acquire further knowledge in nursing theories, research and project management. The curriculum also includes scientific work, health care structures, statistics and research methods. In this last year of study, you can already work independently in nursing.
The following training contents are taught to a nurse:
– Diseases and their causes as well as their prevention, diagnosis and treatment – Taking blood – Preparing X-ray examinations – Entering a fever chart – First aid – Admitting, transferring and discharging patients – Assisting doctors during medical procedures, operations – Preparing and following up rounds – Nursing techniques and their application – Wound care, Injections, infusions – Determination of nursing needs – Preparation of nursing care plans and nursing care documentation – Learning to include the patient's social environment – Participation in the implementation of rehabilitation concepts – Legal regulations in nursing care – Additional instruction in the subjects of German, economics and social studies
The duration of training is 3 years full-time. The duration of the course can be shortened if you have already completed other vocational training in the nursing field. In addition, part-time training is possible, which can last 4 or up to 5 years.
Learning takes place at a state vocational school, where teaching takes place in a classroom setting. Theoretical instruction at vocational school is followed by practical phases in the hospital on various wards, such as surgery, neurology, gynecology, internal medicine or pediatrics. In addition, work locations change during the outpatient nursing assignment, which takes place in patient residences or senior and nursing homes.
At the end of the training there is a state examination, which includes an oral, practical and written part. This is taken by a state examination board; its contents are defined in the applicable training and examination regulations.
Prospects after training
After the training you will find jobs in hospitals, rehabilitation clinics, health centers, residential and nursing homes for the elderly, residential homes for people with disabilities as well as specialist practices and short-term care facilities.
There are also numerous opportunities for further education and training. For example, the two-year intensive care or anesthesia training – these are the later operating room specialists who assist the doctor during surgery. However, oncology training or one-year further training, such as stroke further training – the specialists for stroke patients – and other additional qualifications in hygiene, pain and wound care can be acquired later – depending on what interests and suits you. After successfully completing specialized training, one is then also entitled to call oneself a "specialist health care and nursing assistant.
Nursing is constantly evolving. There are always medical advances, new studies for nursing interventions, ongoing new developments of complementary nursing methods and also the academization is an important future factor. The possibility of also studying in this field is a further incentive for many to choose this profession. Many want to work in a social profession, but also want to do something with their completed high school diploma. After the training one can study nursing sciences or complete the Bachelor of Science in Nursing and go into nursing management or the nursing directorate. The following average salaries are paid in institutions run by sponsoring organizations. of the civil service. However, this information can vary depending on the federal state and collective agreement:
Nurse – tasks and activities
The main tasks of a nurse are the care and support of patients as well as diagnostics and therapy.
This includes the following tasks and activities:
– Wash and position patients – care for wounds – prepare and administer therapies as ordered by physician – infusions, transfusions, injections, medications – prepare care plans – perform various rapid diagnostic tests – administer oxygen – measure vital signs: temperature, oxygen saturation, pulse, blood prere – document course of illness
What the daily work routine looks like in detail depends on the medical specialty, the workplace and shift work. At the beginning of each shift, however, always includes the handover, so that each nurse knows what he or she expects. Patients are prepared for upcoming rounds, respective wounds are treated and vital signs are measured. Each step and measured value is documented and stored in a digitized patient file. Meal and medication distribution is coordinated and carried out as well as participating in meetings about discharges, new admissions and transfers of patients to other wards.
Nurse – salary
What salary can you expect after successful training? The exact salary is again dependent on the employer and the state and of course also varies depending on professional experience. In public institutions, remuneration is according to collective agreement (TVoD-P). Detailed and further information can be found in the article on nurse salary.
Nurse – job offers
Health and nurses represent a very important occupational area and are therefore always sought throughout Germany – in large cities and small towns as well as rural areas.
If you are looking for the right job offer, you can take a look at our medi-career job portal. Click here to go directly to our search with numerous nurse job offers.