E-health, telematics, telecare, technical support systems and medical technology innovations - digitalisation and smart technologies are increasingly taking over inpatient and outpatient care. In rural areas in particular, doctors, carers and patients are linked together by digital networks. For example, nursing staff and nurses use tablets to monitor the health data of patients who have just suffered a stroke and alert a doctor if critical values are detected. Innovations of this kind will become more common in the medical technology sector in the future. Note: As of January 2020, training as a general nurse will replace training as a nursing assistant and nurse. But don't worry, you'll only benefit if you want to work in the care sector!
General nurse training has arrived - what changes now?
From January 2020, you can no longer start training as a care assistant and nurse in this form. The nursing reform has turned three courses into one: there is now a completely new general nurse course: the specialist nurse course. It combines the previous training courses in health care and nursing, nursing for the elderly and nursing for health and children. In the new training, you will be trained in all three areas - and thus be able to work later as a nurse in hospitals, nursing homes and in the field of child care. The background to the reform is the new nursing law. You can find more information in our guide to the new nursing training.
What does a nurse do?
Caring for patients and giving them care
As a nurse's aide, you help people in need of care to cope with everyday life. This includes basic care tasks, such as bathing patients and helping them eat. For example, to prevent thrombosis in bedridden people, nurses reposition them at regular intervals.
Carrying out medical treatments
Following a doctor's instructions, nursing staff treat wounds, for example, and apply bandages or splints to patients. Nurses also administer infusions, inhalations or radiation treatments, as prescribed by doctors.
Assistance with examinations and operations
If certain measures need to be carried out, a nurse prepares and carries out the procedure. In order to prepare for the surgical procedure, patient records are consulted. During the procedure, the health workers hand over the correct instruments to the doctor.
Talking to patients
Health professionals and nurses inform patients and their family members about the measures necessary for recovery and care. They also provide counselling on topics such as ergonomic design of the work environment.
Managing patient records
Observations and care measures are recorded in patient files to determine care needs. Once treatment measures have been determined, nursing staff develop care plans and coordinate the treatment process.
Performing organisational and administrative tasks
Organisational and administrative tasks are also part of the daily routine of the nursing staff - for example, keeping the accounts, monitoring the stock of materials and ordering the supply of medicines on time.
Your tasks at a glance
- Assist patients with personal hygiene and food intake
- Administering medication to patients
- Apply bandages and splints
- Prepare the OP
- Conduct consultations
- Document nursing observations and actions
- Create care plans
- Perform billing
- Manage the stock of materials
Why become a medical assistant and nurse?
The ever-increasing proportion of elderly people means that the demand for health care staff and nurses is growing - and the job prospects in the nursing sector are very good.
Where can I work as a care assistant and nurse?
With your training, you have various job opportunities. In the first place, you will find employment in hospitals, specialist practices or health centres. You will also be in demand in the social sector, for example in retirement homes. Acute care facilities and outpatient departments also need nursing staff. What you may not think of directly as a place of employment, but which is also conceivable, are ship guards.
Your places of employment at a glance
- Specialist practices
- Health centres
- Homes for the elderly
- Acute care facilities
- Outpatient services
- Sickbays on ships
What are the working hours of a health and care nurse?
If you want to work in the social sector as a health and care nurse, you need to be flexible in terms of your working hours - as this job involves working in a team: it is not uncommon to have to work at weekends and at night.
- Shift work
- Weekend and night work
What kind of work clothes do nurses wear?
Nurses are very hygienic: they usually wear a tunic, white trousers and comfortable shoes, such as mules, while working.
Did you know that a person can live without a stomach? In case of illness, such as cancer, the stomach can be removed and the esophagus connected directly to the intestines.
What kind of person do I need to be to become a health worker?
Help : It's important for you to be there for others and help them - after all, you deal with people who need care at work every day, and they rely entirely on you.
Sound judgement : as you are usually the first point of contact for patients, you need to show a lot of understanding - you need to be able to understand the needs of sick people with empathy, which can sometimes be difficult to communicate.
Perfectionist : the right medicine for the right patient - you must not make any mistakes in your work, as the consequences can be life threatening. Of course, treatment errors also make a hospital legally vulnerable.
How does the training to become a nurse work?
The school training to become a nursing assistant and a nurse takes three years. During the training, theory and practice are combined, either by inserting the practical training sections in blocks or by combining them weekly with the daily routine of the vocational school. In nursing, 2100 hours are reserved for vocational school and 2500 hours for practical training in companies.
In the first two years, health care and nursing students attend vocational school together with the health care and paediatric nurses. The third year of training is then devoted to the differentiation phase, during which the future nurses are prepared for target group-specific content, such as pregnancy or dementia.
What does a health care and nursing student learn at the vocational school?
What are the immediate life support measures? How to properly help patients with personal hygiene? At the vocational school, the trainees first acquire theoretical knowledge in the areas that are relevant for their later life in this profession.
1st year of training :
Implementing immediate life-support measures until the doctor arrives.
In this subject, trainees learn to assess emergency situations correctly and to act safely. An emergency procedure is reviewed as an example. This includes: Recognising the emergency situation, making an emergency call, initial examination and ventilation and cardiac massage.
Assisting people of all ages in need of care with skin and body care.
Students assess the skin and body care needs of people on the basis of nursing findings. They do this by observing the skin, mucous membranes and sweat. In this context, they deduce potential nursing problems and formulate objectives.
Support for people of all ages requiring care related to the regulation of breathing and circulation.
Knowledge of the anatomy and physiology - i.e. the structure and function - of the cardiovascular and respiratory systems is taught. On this basis, the future nurses learn to apply measures for respiratory assistance and mobilisation of secretions - i.e. expectorants.
2nd year of training :
During the vocational school, the students learn about the different groups of medicines and the way in which they work and are distributed in the body. The correct storage of medicines and the handling of narcotics are also of great importance.
Supporting people of all ages who need movement-related care
Teachers in vocational schools teach students the anatomy and physiology of the active and passive musculoskeletal system. They do this by observing movement, posture and gait in order to make nursing diagnoses based on these observations.
Supporting people of all ages in need of care related to consciousness and pain.
Through the analysis of sleep, consciousness and pain, we learn to understand the functioning of the nervous system and the transmission of stimuli. A sleep-related care measure is, for example, the prophylaxis - i.e. measures to prevent - sleep disorders.
3rd year of training
Participer à l’élaboration et à la mise en œuvre de concepts de réadaptation et les intégrer dans les activités de soins infirmiers
In the course of the training, the objectives, supports and services in the field of rehabilitation as well as the legal basis are defined. On this basis, rehabilitation plans are created in cooperation with the other trainees.
Supporting, accompanying and advising pregnant women and women who have recently given birth, healthy newborns as well as relatives and carers.
Dans l’école professionnelle, les processus de la mère et de l’enfant pendant la grossesse et la naissance sont abordés. Le système hormonal, la division cellulaire et l’hérédité, les processus de maturation de l’enfant ainsi que les changements physiques de la mère sont explorés.
Supporting, accompanying and advising people with dementia, their relatives and carers.
Afin de comprendre et d’appréhender la démence en tant que maladie, le système nerveux est étudié en détail dans son anatomie et sa physiologie. En outre, les stagiaires apprennent à mener des séances de conseil.
Qu’apprend un stagiaire en soins de santé et en soins infirmiers dans la pratique ?
Après avoir étudié en détail les lois et les bases des soins infirmiers à l’école professionnelle, les phases pratiques consistent à appliquer directement dans l’entreprise ce que le personnel soignant et infirmier en formation a appris.
1st year of training
Au cours de leur première année de formation, les stagiaires participent à des cours de formation d’urgence en établissement. Dans les équipes d’urgence, par exemple, ils prennent des mesures immédiates en cas de choc. Avant chaque mission pratique, les futurs personnels de santé et infirmiers sont informés en détail de la situation par leurs formateurs. En ce qui concerne l’hygiène personnelle, ils effectuent des soins infirmiers tels que la douche et le bain des personnes ayant besoin d’aide.
2nd year of training
Sous la direction du formateur, les stagiaires administrent des médicaments et des produits anesthésiques pendant la partie pratique de leur formation. Il s’agit, par exemple, d’injections et de perfusions, c’est-à-dire de médicaments administrés au moyen de seringues ou d’une perfusion. Pour prévenir les risques sanitaires liés au mouvement, ils appliquent des mesures préventives telles que la prophylaxie des thromboses.
3rd year of training
Si des mesures de réadaptation sont nécessaires, vous les mettrez en place en tant que futur infirmier ou infirmière de santé. En outre, ils prodiguent les premiers soins à la mère et à l’enfant dans la salle d’accouchement après une naissance. Pour les patients souffrant de démence, une formation à l’orientation vers la réalité est notamment dispensée.