General/Adult nursing: Nursing is a deeply gratifying profession. Nurses have more direct contact with patients than most other medical specialists. In most cases, it is the quality of the nursing staff that will have the most effect on a patient experience in a healthcare setting. A registered nurse administers hands-on patient care in a variety of settings including hospitals, medical offices, nursing homes, and other facilities. They work with physicians and other members of the health care team to provide the best course of treatment possible. They also help to educate patients and their families about health issues. Every registered nursing job will be unique depending on where you are working, and what type of unit or setting you are in. An ER nurse might have a more fast-paced day assisting with many emergency cases, while a hospice nurse will focus more on quality of life care for just a few patients in their final months. Registered nurses in hospitals sometimes work longer, non-traditional work shifts (evenings, nights, weekends), while school nurses or those in a physician’s office are more likely to have steadier hours. With that being said, nursing can be a very emotionally stressful career. If you are squeamish nursing is probably not the best career choice for you. Nurses deal with blood when taking samples and other bodily fluids such as urine, saliva and in some cases, faeces. An emergency room nurse has no control over what walks through the door. Along with dealing with more minor injuries, ER nurses are also exposed to witnessing more traumatic injuries. Select two other roles (one professional and one non-professional) within the same area of work and compare and contrast the responsibilities of those roles with your chosen role. Practical nursing gives you the necessary education to become a licenced nurse. All of the skills learned throughout a nurse’s education will put them in good standing to take the required exams to become a licenced practical nurse (LPN). After which they’ll be able to work in a wide variety of roles in the health care industry. From working in a hospital alongside doctors and patients to more specialised roles in residential care, practical nurses will find themselves trained to help patients as a health care worker or a nurse. A health care assistant (HCA) is more of a generalist. They receive training similar to that of the practical nurses just with an emphasis on support and administration. Health care assistants have less to do with specimen sampling, wound care and vital signs monitoring nurses find themselves involved with. Heath care assistants find themselves working in hospitals, medical homes or within the local community. With courses in hospice-palliative care, interpersonal (medical) communication and lifestyle choices, a HCA can find work helping out elderly patients, acting as a go between for health care workers and the public, or as a patient educator within the health care industry.