What is a Swab Nurse Job Position?
Swab testing is an everyday requirement across all sorts of healthcare and social care facilities. In essence, a swab is a sterile cotton bud and is used to collect tissue samples for testing across a vast range of illnesses and infections. This is all about a swab nurse job and what is involved.
In the COVID-19 pandemic era, the skills and professionalism of a swab nurse have become vital to public health – with these tests being carried out on people of all ages, and in all sorts of unusual circumstances!
As the demand for trained nurses and HCAs (Healthcare Assistants) continues to skyrocket, there are multiple job opportunities available, particularly in London and the surrounding areas. If you’re considering upskilling, then attending swab nurse training is also an excellent way to expand your flexibility and the number of positions you’d be perfectly suited to!
What Sort of Swab Nurse Roles are Available?
Currently, swab nurses are required across the UK, at medical facilities; testing centres, care homes, residential homes and healthcare venues. Many care homes, for example, are carrying out multiple tests each week – to ensure patients, staff and visitors can all go about their day safely.
Walk-through and drive-through testing centres are also a new way to carry out swab tests. Members of the public can rest assured that it’s as unfamiliar for trained nurses to be taking swabs through car windows as it is for them!
Therefore, there are vast numbers of roles available; from dedicated testing centre jobs, outreach social care roles conducting testing in the community, and a need for great nurses and HCAs with swab test training at care facilities across the country.
What are the Key Requirements for a Swab Nurse Position?
Given the enormous changes we’re all living through, it’s fair to say that many people needing a swab test might be anxious, nervous, or frustrated. Testing has become mandatory in many sectors, and in some cases is crucial to allow a child to return to school, or an adult to resume work.
Therefore, the essential requirements include:
- Professional swab nurse training to regulatory standards.
- Compassion, care, and patience.
- Flexibility, with many testing stations being in unconventional settings.
- Speed and punctuality, to minimize the testing process.
All of these qualities are essential to all social care professionals, so if you’re already working in a care capacity, you’d likely make an excellent swab nurse!
In What Settings Might a Swab Nurse be Required?
As we’ve seen, a swab nurse placement might not be in a traditional healthcare setting, and we’re seeing employers, care homes, and social care services adapt quickly to try and make testing as seamless and efficient as possible.
Care settings where swab nurse placements are in demand include:
- Hospices and palliative care facilities.
- Public testing stations.
- Private care homes and residential homes.
- Non-public hospitals, clinics, and healthcare providers.
In all cases, PPE is a mandatory requirement – and is essential for HCAs and nurses who might be testing multiple people each day, each of whom could have displayed or been exposed to Coronavirus.
Who are the Service Users a Swab Nurse Might Treat?
The diversity of a swab nurse role won’t come as any surprise to a social care professional! In some cases, regular testing is a preventative measure and might be carried out solely on staff or residential service users.
In other cases, COVID-19 testing is required to eliminate the potential that a person has contracted the virus. Many care homes, for example, are offering testing as part of a new safety regime to protect the wellbeing of their patients, and ensure staff are not exposed.
Swab nurses may be asked to administer tests to:
- Children and young people.
- Adults and workers.
- Elderly and immobile patients.
- High risk or vulnerable people.
- People with complex needs.
Priority tests are also required for many essential workers and key worker roles.
What Skills Do I Need for a Job as a Swab Nurse?
Job requirements can vary significantly between placements! The first criteria will be to have attended swab nurse training; whether pre-existing training, as a standalone course, or to top-up your skills.
Different swab nurse roles in different settings might include:
- Conducting testing on an individual or multiple people.
- Maintaining logs of tests administered.
- Safe storage and labelling of swab test samples.
- Adherence with Coronavirus safe working practises.
Many healthcare professionals are returning to the workforce to take up new job placements, in which case refresher courses are available. As testing protocols and data management regulations may have changed, it is essential to be up to date with current regulations.
What Benefits are there to Applying for a Swab Nurse Job?
As the UK works to get to grips with constant changes, the social care workforce is showing a united front in responding to the demand for outstanding healthcare support!
You’ll find care homes, social care facilities, and private organizations all working to identify the best ways to stay on top of the demand for testing and make the process as stress-free as possible.
While trained nurses and HCAs have always been in high demand, we’re seeing recruitment levels as never before – and a new appreciation for how much our communities rely on our care services to keep us well.
There are lots of reasons to apply for a swab nurse job:
- High demand, with multiple placement options to pick and choose from.
- Flexible working hours, shifts, placements, and settings with lots of testing requirements cropping up in a diverse range of facilities.
- Options to attend further training as the pandemic progresses, with no shortage of work opportunities or career progression routes.
- Ability to contribute to a nationwide effort to overcome the challenges of Coronavirus and help identify swift actions where people need to isolate and stop the spread in its tracks.
- Specialist training to provide swab testing in specific environments, such as in complex needs facilities or residential care homes.
As testing reaches further into our societies, it does not mean that demand for swab nurses is likely to decline. The next recruitment push will come when vaccines are introduced; with tremendous demand expected for trained nurses who can help administer life-saving vaccines to millions of people.
If you’re thinking about looking for new roles as a swab nurse, there has never been a better time to start. OUTT has multiple London employment managers looking for trained swab nurses and HCAs – with all the support of our team, and none of the hassle of an agency.
Call us, send us a message and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.