General Practice Nursing is the main nurse role in Primary Care surgeries. They sit within the clinical team alongside Advanced Nurse/Clinical Practitioners (ANP/ACP), Doctors (GP) and Allied Healthcare Professionals (AHP). The most important aspect of a GPN’s role is to provide holistic, evidence based, patient-centred care. They have high levels of autonomy and decision making as part of their role in supporting patients, colleagues and making a difference in Primary Care. They will work together with other clinicians, applying different skills from individual roles to help each patient.
The role is extremely varied and the knowledge required covers all areas to an advanced level, making it a highly skilled area of Nursing. Some GPN’s are also independent prescribers. Different skill sets are required within each surgery and this varies depending on the people they look after. Work is commissioned by the NHS, along with available training. There is no set standard for the GPN role, however the usual minimum is:
- Baby immunisations
- Travel vaccinations
- Adult vaccinations
- Wound care – mostly post-operative, simple wounds.
- Contraception clinics – some trained in fitting IUD/implant
- Smears – advising, educating and carrying out the procedure
- Long term conditions from diagnosing to palliative care
- Respiratory disease management – working with patients of all ages to help manage their respiratory illness, COPD, Asthma,
- Diabetes management – working with patients to help manage their Diabetes, through health and lifestyle advice, medication, referrals as required, cardiovascular assessment and investigation
- Chronic disease management – diagnosing, reviewing and patient-centred holistic management of the condition. May include, heart failure, chronic heart disease, hypertension, IBS, hormone treatments
- Venepuncture/ECG/foot checks/ear irrigation– when required
- Health promotion
- Audit and admin tasks