Endocrine Nursing is related to diabetes nursing but involves many more disease processes. So, its only fitting that it gets its own article. Many nurses have diabetic knowledge but there are many more obscure diseases that fall under the endocrine nursing domain. This is where the specialized endocrine nurse comes in.
Encompassing a wide range of diagnoses, endocrine nursing is a very interesting specialty. Endocrine disorders run the gamut from pediatric growth hormone deficits to adrenal insufficiency, thyroid abnormalities, pituitary tumors and thyroid abnormalities. Since there is such a wide range of problems that come under the endocrine umbrella, many types of nurses are involved too.
With many organs involved, the nurse has many options to get into endocrine nursing
- Pediatric endocrine clinic. Clients that have genetic disorders might start out in a peds specialty clinic. There, nurses will care for and educate patients and parents. Some of the diagnoses nurses might see here include growth hormone deficits, osteogenica imperfecta, congenital adrenal hyperplasia, and precocious puberty and diabetes.
- Adult endocrinology clinics where patients might have low testosterone (an especially popular term today as evidenced by all the ads on TV for “low T.” Other problems might include diabetes, hyper- or hypothyroidism, adrenal insufficiency, osteoporosis, postmenopausal hormone replacement, and other bone and metabolic disorders.
- In-patient units for either adult or pediatrics. It is more common to have these patient cohorted on a medical surgical or general medical floor.
- Work in research in the area of endocrinology continues to become more popular. In this job, you might work in an office setting assembling data or at the bedside collecting data.
- Pharmaceutical companies typically hire endocrinology nurses for specialized sales positions.
Qualities of Endocrine Nurses Include:
- Thirst for knowledge. Many endocrine disorders might be rare or not seen often, especially for nurses who work in more rural environments. These nurses might be left to their own devices to learn about these disorders. Some resources are found at the end of this article. Some of the more rare disorders might require a lit or internet search or perhaps networking with a colleague at a specialty research facility.
- Ability to convey complex educational concepts to patients on their learning level. As above, many of these disorders are fairly rare and many are very complex so it’s important that the nurse is able to talk with patients and families of many backgrounds and intellects.
- Compassion – many of these patients can feel isolated or alone. As an endocrine nurse, you must be able to reassure the patient that a normal or near-normal lifestyle is possible either with or without modifications.
- Flexibility – patients diagnosed with endocrine disorders can have the endocrine disorder as a co-morbid condition. This can result in much nursing care and the need to prioritize that care will be paramount.
Pediatric Endocrinology Nursing Society - Pediatric endocrinology is a sub-specialty. Many endocrine abnormalities have a genetic base especially when dealing with growth hormone maladies. The Pediatric Endocrinology Nurses organization provides education for the nurse as well as a resource for parents and patients. They also have information on clinical trials for several illnesses.
The Endocrine Nurses Society provides education and support for nurses who care for endocrine problems. They also offer grants for research. A clearinghouse of resource including websites for information and education are also listed.Last edit by Joe V on Dec 5, '14