My entire nursing career has been spent in cardiology (tele, CCU, cardiology clinic, cardiac research). Of course there is always overlap since other systems and disease processes can not be separated just b/c the patient has heart disease. Where I live, cardiac nurses are synonymous with "COPD nurses" and "diabetes nurses". However, my exposure to other systems is relatively limited. Sometimes I feel a little inferior b/c I don't know much about trauma, burns, oncology, infectious diseases, endocrine disorders, transplants, etc. (Not to mentions peds and women's issues) I'm just curious if anyone else has worked primarily in cardiology and feels the same? Should I consider some sort of general refresher course?
Jun 4, '11
What you are experiencing happens to everyone who works in the same specialty for a period of years. What you should do about it depends on your career goals. If your plan is to be a cardiac specialist, I wouldn't worry about it. But if you want to be equally competent in other areas of med/surg nursing, you should probably seek out learning experiences with other types patients.
Perhaps all you need to do is start reading some journals regularly that contain articles about other types of patients. Or go to an ocassional conference that addresses many different general med/surg topics. Such activities would help you stay up-to-date with the most important developments in those focus areas without being too expensive or disruptive to your regular routine. You could continue to work with cardiac patients and develop your expertise in that focus area -- while also keeping informed about other areas through your periodic reading of journals and conference attendance.