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Studying Nursing Science in Germany

Nurses learn what's important when caring for people who are ill.
An article by Florian Schumann

Studying Nursing Science in Germany
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Nursing Science

That is what it’s about

Accompanying people through a time of physical limitations, taking their desires and concerns seriously, and helping them to go about their everyday lives as independently as possible: That's what care is all about. In includes more than just treating wounds or lifting patients out of bed. Nursing students also learn how to organize care in hospitals, nursing homes and care services, or what legal and financial aspects need to be considered. "Long-term care is also independent of illness," says Johannes Korporal, who was a professor at the Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences in Berlin and is chairing the Deans Conference Nursing Science. Nurses do not only act on behalf of doctors, but also independently. Prevention is becoming increasingly important. Those who study nursing learn to advise people on the basis of scientific findings so that they themselves can do something beneficial for their own health.

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This is how the course runs

A bachelor in nursing usually takes at least six semesters. The students learn biological and medical basics, such as anatomy and physiology. Case studies are discussed in small groups. For example, when working on the cardiovascular system, you learn how to position a patient with heart failure and that they need compression stockings. In “Skills Labs” practical skills are practised, such as washing or preparing an infusion. In addition, you learn to respond to different needs. Communication theories, social law and ethics are also part of the course, because in everyday life, nurses are often faced with problematic situations, such as when a bed rail should be attached to a patient’s bed so that they do not fall out of bed while sleeping. However, the patient must first agree to it. The proportion of nursing graduates is still low, but Korporal assumes: “Nursing will become increasingly important over the next few years, as nurses increasingly take on medical work.”

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Typical questions raised within the subject

  • How do you design a nursing process?
  • How do you make a wound dressing?
  • Why should the care of dementia patients be based on their biography?
  • How can nurses perform medical tasks independently?
  • How to accompany a dying person?
  • How do you negotiate a care budget?
  • How can you (further) train nurses?

The subject suits you,...

...if you want to deal with people who are in difficult situations in life. You should be helpful and not over sensitive: Nurses sometimes have to dress purulent wounds or wipe away vomit. “The work is found by many to be physically and mentally taxing," says Korporal. It is also important to know: During your studies you have to acquire a variety of skills, from science to consulting. For later professional life, it is important to be able to cope with the suffering of the patients. It is best to do a nursing internship before deciding on this field.

Is there a numerus clausus?

About one third of the programs have an NC. Some universities require a pre-placement or an apprenticeship.

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