Community Matron

The Job and What's Involved

As a community matron, you would work to improve the health and quality of life of people with very intensive needs or long-term health conditions. You would provide nursing and clinical care in a variety of settings, including patients homes, residential and nursing homes and prisons.

The aim of your role would be to:

- Help those living in the community continue doing so
- Prevent crisis and unplanned hospital admissions
- The Job and What's Involved Reduce the length of stay a patient has in hospital
- Provide support to those discharged from hospital

You would manage a case load of patients with a variety of complex health issues.

Your work with patients would include:

  • Assessing their care needs.
  • Coordinating the care and support patients receive from a variety of sources.
  • Identifying those at risk of unnecessary admission to hospital.
  • Carrying out physical examinations, diagnosing and planning treatment.
  • Monitoring patients' conditions.
  • Referring patients to other health professionals for treatment.
  • Teaching patients, their carers or relatives to spot changes that could lead to their condition getting worse.
  • Organising extra support, such as home care or respite care.
  • Giving health promotion information and advice to prevent illness.
  • Keeping accurate and up-to-date patient records.
  • Staying in touch with community development initiatives.

You would work closely with other health and social care professionals, voluntary services and carers to provide support to patients that takes into account their physical, mental, emotional and social needs.

Your work would involve travelling throughout the community, visiting patients in their homes. You would also meet with other health and social care professionals to decide how best to care for patients.

You would typically work 37.5 hours a week, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday.

Caring for people suffering with long-term illness can be very demanding, both physically and emotionally.

Community matrons can earn between £30,500 and £40,200 a year. With experience, this may rise to around £45,500.

Getting Started with this Career Choice

Most jobs are within local primary care trusts (PCTs).

You may also find vacancies advertised through the local and national press, NHS Jobs and Nursing Times.

Education and Training

To become a community matron, you will usually need:

  • To be a registered nurse (any branch).
  • Between three and five years' post-registration experience.
  • Specialist knowledge across a range of nursing procedures and practice.
  • In-depth knowledge of long-term health conditions and treatment.

Some employers will also expect you to have:

A BSc or postgraduate diploma in community practice (specialising in, for example, district nursing, health visiting or practice nursing).

Been trained as a mentor.

Completed a nurse prescribing programme.

You are likely to need a driving licence and access to a car.

A Few More Exams You Might Need

Once you are working as a community matron, you will usually be encouraged by your employer to study advanced clinical nursing practice at Masters degree level.

You will be expected to continue training and developing your clinical skills throughout your career.

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Skills and Personal Qualities Needed

A community matron needs:

  • Excellent communication and listening skills.
  • The ability to build good working relationships with a wide range of health and social care professionals.
  • Good 'people' skills.
  • Assertiveness.
  • The ability to empathise.
  • Good problem solving and negotiating skills.
  • The ability to influence and challenge in a non-threatening way.
  • The ability to motivate others.
  • A flexible and innovative approach to work.
  • Good team working and leadership skills.
  • The ability to manage stress in self and others.
  • A good understanding of issues surrounding patient confidentiality.
  • Basic IT skills.

Your Long Term Prospects

As an experienced and qualified community matron, you may be able to progress to service management level and become head of community nursing.

You could also move into related careers such as health promotion work or teaching and training nurses and community practitioners.

Get Further Information

Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC),
23 Portland Place, London W1B 1PZ
Tel: 020 7333 9333

Skills for Health, Goldsmiths House,
Broad Plain, Bristol BS2 0JP
Tel: 0117 922 1155

NHS Careers, PO Box 376, Bristol BS99 3EY
Tel: 0345 60 60 655

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