If you read through the never ending pages on the internet you will read various information about the role of the health visitor, some certainly more positive than others.
To begin with I can clarify that what health visitors don’t do is JUST weigh babies, yes that is a small part of my job but it is far from just that and yes health visitors are very knowledgeable. In fact they know a variety of information and I find it very frustrating when I read stories or comments like ‘My health visitor knows nothing’ or ‘Health visitors are useless’. I will go beyond my means to help the families whom I see and I am constantly updating and refreshing my knowledge to help families and keep me competent as a registered practitioner.
I feel there needs to be an awareness raised to inform others that health visitors are all qualified nurses or midwives, with some having duel qualification. This allows us to use transfer many skills and makes us excellent communicators and observers.
Health visitors current model of service is built around the 4-5-6 model of health visiting, which was first mentioned by Viv Bennett (see image) chief nurse at Public Health England.
This model may change slightly from area to area and each family will require a different level of service depending on their needs. The high impact areas of the model were taken from The Healthy Child Programme 0-5, which all health visitors lead and deliver on. The health visiting role extents to many including assisting the most vulnerable in the community.
I am not sure what health visiting will look like in the future due to the change over to local authority but I will continue to make the best of my job with the resources available.
I hope you have enjoyed this first but brief blog and that you will come back again.