District Nurse (Case Manager), based in Boston as part of the Boston Community Nursing Team
On a typical day…
I start on my laptop, download my visits and tasks, read about any patients I am not familiar with to ensure I am aware of their journey thus far. My role is to ensure all of my team are safe and confident with their allocated visits. Sometimes I may need to re-allocate and transfer incoming visits between the team dependent on their skills. When visiting patients I am responsible for the planning and implementation of their care, ensuring they understand the role of the district nursing team and always promote a patient’s independence and self-care.
Tell us how you have made a difference as a nurse
I find that something as simple as assessing a chronic wound and prescribing a different course of treatment then seeing the improvement week after week can be most rewarding.
Within my role, I meet many patients, all allowing me into their homes. I have been given the opportunity to build up therapeutic relationships with not only individuals but their families too. In turn, I feel extremely privileged to be a part of their journey.
In 2017 I was successful in enrolling on the Specialist Practice Qualification in District Nursing. Within this, I have gained leadership skills that I have transferred into my current role. These skills have taught me to be more confident, creative and resilient. I thrive off positivity and I encourage my team to be inspired by the achievements of others. I have created a “wall of inspiration” at our base for the wider team to become inspired. I have created poems and songs to encourage positive relationships amongst the team which will help promote positive patient experiences.
What inspired you to go into nursing? What would you say to a young person interested in a career in nursing?
This sounds like a cliché, but when I was 4, a girl in my class got a nurses uniform for her birthday. I remember feeling this overwhelming sense of jealousy, because I wanted to wear the uniform! I was so upset over it that my mum was given no option but to buy me one! Since that day, I have honestly never wanted to be anything else.
Last year I was invited to my son’s nursery to talk about being a nurse and what nurses do. A 3-year-old girl asked why I had a “Hello, my name is” badge on? I then asked the rest of the children why they thought it was important for doctors and nurses to tell people their names. A little boy replied: “Because you all do such a good job.” To me this is the positive message I would like every young person to have about nursing. Because we really do!
Nursing, regardless of your speciality, really is the most rewarding job with many opportunities to further your career.
Are there any good nursing projects/ innovations happening in your organisation or region that you’d like to share?
I am part of a digital forum called Project Echo. This involves many agencies from palliative care joining up via Skype to discuss different relevant scenarios every four weeks.
By speaking to other specialities and outside agencies, knowledge and experience is shared, enabling a better understanding of each other’s roles. This then improves the patient’s experience, giving positive outcomes for both patients and their families.
At Christmas, myself and a nursery nurse at my son’s nursery decided we would like to give to lonely people. We wrote to parents asking for donations of unwanted gifts or products. The response was fantastic and I was able to use my position to hand deliver many presents to patients who would be spending Christmas alone. The patients were all so grateful, it felt very rewarding.
Have you won any awards or recognitions for your nursing role?
Yes, I am part of a local initiative named Time To Act. This involves nurse leaders in our area meeting together every six weeks with our head of service. We discuss different ways of working and become united in how we work. This enables us to have different conversations with our staff and each other, using non-directive coaching conversations to enable resilience, empowerment and improve job satisfaction which in turn promotes positive patient outcomes.
Recently Time To Act was nominated for our staff awards. I was lucky enough to attend the ceremony and be presented with a certificate of recognition, that myself and the whole team are all extremely proud of.
Tell us your funniest or amusing work-related story or anecdote / most memorable moment
When out visiting patients one summer, I returned to my car and left my windows open for some fresh air whilst having a drink. After I set off down the road, I heard a “meow” and found a big ginger tabby cat sat in my son’s car seat! I returned him to where I think I found him from!
I have also fostered two kittens from patients who could not care for them.