Urology nursing is the care of a patient's intimate needs. All the patients will be discussing complaints of a private nature so overcoming the private nature of their care is the nurse's first priority. There is much education to be undertaken in order to be successful in urology nursing.
Urology Nursing is care of the patient with diagnoses of some type of urological dysfunction. For men, common urological complaints are prostate cancer, erectile dysfunction, ureteral calculi, or some type of congenital abnormality. For women, the more common complaints are congenital in nature, renal calculi or some type of structural issue. Both men and women can suffer from urinary incontinence which can take its toll on a patient's health, lifestyle and ability to nurture an intimate relationship. Nursing care can occur in hospitals, long term care facilities or clinics.
Skills and Qualities
As with any nursing position, caring and compassion are the hallmarks of a good nurse. Other qualities include:
- Ability to be sensitive to patients' intimate needs. When dealing with sexual dysfunction and elimination needs, the nurse must strive to be completely non-judgemental and very matter of fact.
- Knowledge of current trends and issues as they relate to urology. Patients expect to have their problems addressed and as new advances are made in incontinence and erectile dysfunction care, the nurse is often the person who provides this education.
- Ability to assess a patient quickly. Often, patients may not actually come out and tell the nurse the complaint up front.
- The nurse has to be able to establish a relationship of trust and understanding from the beginning.
- Comfort level with technology. Many patients will have done some research or heard about some "new treatment" either online or via the television. As patients are staying active longer, many expect that whatever age-related issues that they have will be fixed.
The urology nurse can work in the hospital, usually on a urology/renal floor. They may work in surgery with the urologist doing procedures like cystoscopies or biopsies. Another option is a urology clinic or free-standing urology practice. There, the nurse could be performing typical office procedures or they might be doing urology specific duties like bladder scans, assisting with in-office cystoscopies or counseling patients on treatment options.
From the Bureau of Labor Statistics, "employment of registered nurses is expected to grow 26 percent from 2010 to 2020, faster than the average for all occupations. Growth will occur primarily because of technological advancements, permitting a greater number of health problems to be treated; an increased emphasis on preventive care; and the large, aging baby boomer population who will demand more healthcare services as they live longer and more active lives than previous generations."
This includes the specialty of Urology Nursing. As new advances in the treatment of prostate cancer, sexual dysfunction, incontinence and congenital problems advances, there will be more opportunities in this area.
The Urology Nurses Association sponsors conferences and provides a lot of education relating to urology.
Prostate Cancer - Prostate cancer is one of the more common diagnoses that urology nurses care for. (National Library of Medicine)
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Urinary Incontinence (Mayo Clinic)Last edit by traumaRUs on Jun 15, '18
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TraumaRUs is an APN with 20+ years nursing experience. She currently works in a large nephrology practice.
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