The HIV pandemic has had an impact on every segment of society and every facet of health care.While a permanent cure for HIV is still elusive, a lot of progress has been made in the prevention and treatment of this disease. So much progress has been made that patients can now live normal and active lives.However, they need to make sure they are taking their medication to keep their HIV conditions under control. This also prevents it from turning into full-blown AIDS — the poisonous progression of the disease.
HIV Nurses are trained while they pursue a specialized nursing program to provide care for patients infected with AIDS, a deadly, incurable disease that attacks a patient’s immune system. They help patients cope with and manage the emotional and physical symptoms of the disease as part of patient care.
Nurses taking care of HIV patients are responsible in educating patients about the importance of taking medication and making them aware of the consequences of missing a dose. To highlight the importance of continuous medication for HIV patients, nurses inform patients about the consequences that can occur when they suddenly stop taking their medication.
Nurses play an important role in counseling the patient and educating them about the risks of stopping the medication or missing a medication dose. Nurses can give advice such as:
- Setting alarms to ensure the dosage is taken at the right time
- Keeping all medicines handy and telling family members where medicines are kept to ensure easy access in case of emergency.
- Refilling prescriptions in advance
- Writing notes as reminders
Asa nurse, it is your duty to counsel an HIV patient on your level first, and then refer him/her to a physician if they express the desire to discontinue therapy.
Every nurse should be prepared to meet a person with an HIV-infection. Nursing people with AIDS is a challenge because it is a holistic nursing process. After diagnosing an HIV-infection, a person will be in crisis. If a nurse is familiar with the process of a crisis, he/she can better understand and support the person. With empathy, a therapeutic attitude and by recognizing their reactions, a nurse will be able to meet the patient’s needs. A nurse needs to plan, to see the problems, to implement and to evaluate the nursing process of the patient with AIDS. The aim of the nursing process is to react to the unique needs of the patient with the HIV-infection. To be able to grow as a human being and as a professional nurse, education about HIV-infection and its specific areas is necessary.
As a nurse caring for HIV patients,you will learn the symptoms that indicate a lapse in taking medications. In your career as a nurse treating HIV patients,it is your first responsibility to ensure that patients are educated in the importance of continual medication.
If you want to pursue nursing education in Canada, you can join the Post Registration Nursing Programs for internationally educated nurses at INSCOL.