In this weekly feature, the editors of SpringBoard highlight one career in the health care professions–including a basic description, educational requirements, core competencies/key skills needed, and related web sites and professional organizations where you can find more information!
A bariatric nurse practitioner provides either inpatient or outpatient care to patients who are morbidly obese. Aside from providing direct care, a bariatric nurse practitioner provides patient teaching, evaluates patient progress after bariatric surgery and alters plan if needed, and prepares patients for discharge in collaboration with the bariatric surgery team.
Registered nurse preparation and Nurse Practitioner certification, Basic Life Support certification, and Master of Science in Nursing are required. Advanced training and certification as a bariatric nurse is available by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery and by the American Board of Bariatric Medicine.
CORE COMPETENCIES/SKILLS NEEDED
- Previous experience in bariatric surgery, general surgery, or internal medicine
- Excellent assessment and critical thinking skills
- Sensitivity to the needs of patients who are morbidly obese, and their families
- Knowledge of evidence-based practice related to bariatric medicine
RELATED WEB SITES AND PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS
- American Board of Bariatric Medicine
- National Association of Bariatric Nurses
- American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery