Hematology is the branch of medicine that deals with blood illnesses and diseases. >Hematology nurses care for patients with diseases like sickle cell anemia, lymphoma, hemophilia, and leukemia. Even though hematology is not a common nursing specialty, it is still very important. Blood diseases are often serious and life-threatening. Hematology nurses not only treat patients, but they also spend time educating patients and their families about how to cope with disease and live within its confinements.
A hematology nurse takes the medical history of a patient, performs physical examinations, administers medication and treatment (including chemotherapy), assists with blood transfusions, and collaborates with physicians to diagnose and treat diseases. The diagnosis of a hematology patient may involve some research, and nurses are often called upon to participate. Advanced practice hematology nurses may also prescribe medications or order lab work.
Hematology nurses may choose to work only with children or adults as their specialty. As with many other RN jobs, this job is best fulfilled by a person who is compassionate and good with people. Hematology nurses must be able to offer reassurance, comfort, and guidance to patients and their families, who are dealing with the struggles of living with a serious disease.
Hematology nurses earn, on average, between $54,000 and $66,000 per year, depending on their specialization. In order to become a hematology nurse, you must have a nursing education as well as additional training and experience. Some hematology nurses decide to move up in their careers and become nurse practitioners. This position offers better pay and more responsibility. In order to become a hematology nurse practitioner, you must have an advanced degree (at least a master’s degree), an advanced practice license (offered by your state), and a certificate from the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC). Some hematology nurses gain a competitive edge in their field by obtaining additional certifications.