Working in primary care: an advanced clinical practitioner's perspective
Primary care has often been negatively represented in the media, potentially adding to the notion that this is not an interesting or attractive place to work. I would like to give an honest opinion from my own experience of working within the primary care sector as a nurse and an advanced clinical practitioner (ACP).
When I completed my nurse training 10 years ago the perception was that primary care was not an exciting place to work, so my peers avoided submitting applications for such posts on qualification. Words such as ‘boring’, ‘easy’ and ‘deskilled’ were associated with general practice nursing, and primary care was not seen as an interesting area. This could not be further from the truth. Any role within primary care is demanding and stressful at times, but also very rewarding.
I started my career as a newly qualified nurse in primary care with feelings of apprehension. I quickly came to realise these feelings were unfounded. All members of the team – in administration, reception, secretaries, healthcare assistants, nurses and doctors – were friendly, helpful and supportive. This role certainly did not deskill me but added to the skills I already held. I believe I would not have developed so many different skills if I had started my career elsewhere. It opened my eyes to the career opportunities available within this sector and this gave me the passion and drive to progress.
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