What Does an Otorhinolaryngology Nurse Do?
Otorhinolaryngology nurses, also known as head and neck nurses, care for patients with head and neck disorders and diseases. These medical issues can be related to the throat, such as thyroid problems and tonsillitis, or the ears and nose, such as ruptured eardrums and allergies. Patients within the broad medical practice of otorhinolaryngology can also suffer from deformities like cleft palates or injuries that have resulted in maxillofacial trauma. Nurses in this specialized field perform a wide variety of duties. They help to diagnose patients by conducting assessments and physical examinations of the ears, nose, oral cavity, cranial nerves, skin and neck. They also assist with treatments such as radiation, chemotherapy, nutrition, and medication. An important part of their job includes providing support for patients undergoing medical and surgical procedures that can concern head and neck cancers or facial plastic and reconstructive surgery.
How Can I Become an Otorhinolaryngology Nurse?
Before you can work as an otorhinolaryngology nurse, you must earn a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN), an associate degree in nursing, or complete a nursing diploma program. You will then need to take the NCLEX-RN examination in order to earn a license to practice nursing in your state. Those who want to further their education in otorhinolaryngology, as well as have more options for career advancement, can earn a master’s degree or doctorate in nursing. To gain experience in otorhinolaryngology it is important to spend some time working in areas such as otology, audiology, laryngology and rhinology. Many otorhinolaryngology nurses choose to demonstrate their expertise by becoming certified through the National Certifying Board for Otorhinolaryngology and Head-Neck Nursing. The board grants certification for qualified nurses who fulfill all eligibility requirements and pass a certification exam. The exam covers topics relevant to head and neck medical care, such as conditions, assessments, interventions and professional issues.
What Is the Career and Salary Outlook for an Otorhinolaryngology Nurse?
Otorhinolaryngology nursing is a highly specialized area and opportunities are available for nurses who have the right qualifications and experience. Nurses looking for employment within this field can find it in a variety of work environments, including hospitals, private practices, allergy clinics, plastic surgeon offices, cancer centers, and specialty clinics. They can work in positions as staff nurses, otorhinolaryngology RN clinicians, allergy nurses, ENT nurse practitioners, and head and neck surgical nurses. Given the nature of their work, it is essential that otorhinolaryngology nurses be detail-oriented, have good communication skills and be able to provide comfort to patients experiencing frightening health situations. According to PayScale, the annual wages of registered nurses range from $46,818 to $67,106. For nurses who specialize in specific areas, such as otorhinolaryngology, head and neck, or ENT, that annual salary can increase depending on education and skill level.