HIV/AIDS Specialist


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BASIC DESCRIPTION

An HIV/AIDS specialist is a nurse who works primarily with patients inflicted with HIV/AIDS. HIV/AIDS specialists may work in acute care facilities, long-term care facilities, home care, and hospice.

EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS

Registered nurse (RN) preparation is required. Palliative care certification is available, but not always required for job placement; certification by Association of Nurses in AIDS Care or HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board is available as AIDS Certified RN or Advance AIDS Certified RN.

CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED

■ Expertise in caring for those who have HIV/AIDS
■ Extensive knowledge of HIV/AIDS disease process
■ Knowledge of death, dying, and grieving process
■ Skills to provide counseling to families of those inflicted with HIV/AIDS
■ Ability to care, manage, and teach those inflicted
■ Assessment skills for pain and pain management techniques
■ Knowledge and understanding of the ethical issues that arise at the end of life

RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

■ Association of Nurses in AIDS Care (www.anacnet.org)
■ World Home Care and Hospice Organization (www.whho.org)
■ HIV/AIDS Nursing Certification Board (www.handcb.org)

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