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Staff Nurse

Clinical Practice
Career Pathway

Career Directions

  • Clinical Practice

Area of Practice

  • Learning Disability Nursing


  • Hospital Care

Job/Role Summary

Currently within my job as a staff nurse, I am based within a low secure forensic unit for males with learning disability in Muckamore Abbey Hospital.

This unit provides assessment and treatment for patients who have come into contact with the criminal justice system. As well as having a forensic history the patients with whom I work with can present with mental health issues, physical disabilities, challenging behaviours and physical aggression.

As part of my role I am involved in the assessment, planning, implementation and evaluation of patient care, ensuring their care is prioritised, person centred and is provided at a high standard.

A large part of my role is maintaining patient safety and that of others that they may come into contact with. I am continually assessing risk from within and outside the ward environment.

At times, I may be required to take charge of the ward which also includes the additional further duties of coordinating staff, delegation of staff duties and prioritising patient care.

On a daily basis I assist with patients activities of daily living and in providing them with a structured day. I also work alongside three other nurses as part of the designated ward security team and for organising anti-psychotic monitoring for those patients who require it, which includes obtaining blood samples, completing observations and performing ECG’s.


Specific qualifications and experience required

I have been working in Muckamore Abbey for over 10 years, first as a health care assistant, before commencing my Nursing degree in 2011. During this time I have gained a wealth of experience in working and caring for those who have a learning disability of varying degrees.

I qualified as a registered nurse in 2014 and took up a staff nurse post in female admissions within the hospital, where I spent a year before moving to my current ward. Over the past 3 years I have had opportunities to further my knowledge and experience in this area. I have completed the ‘New to Forensics’ course and am awaiting training to become a mentor for others due to partake in the course. Within this last year I have completed training to train other staff in ‘The procedure for Search of Patients, their belongings and the environment’ within a learning disability inpatient facility.


Career Milestones

In the short time I have been trained I have been given the opportunity to complete a number of courses which have greatly benefitted my practice and personal development. Becoming a SEARCH trainer, has allowed me to build my self confidence in delivering effective training to others and given me the ability to share my knowledge and experience with others.

Another highlight this year has been completing the mentorship programme for student nurses. I feel I am an appropriate role model and that I have the knowledge and skills to help, teach and assist student nurses to meet meeting the standards required by the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) to become a registered nurse.


Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

I enjoy working amongst a motivated, experienced and knowledgeable staff team and feel valued as a member of the team.

In addition I enjoy the opportunity to work alongside a range of professionals within the   multidisciplinary team and other agencies and the ability to explore what their roles are.

I enjoy working within a challenging environment where every day is different and I have to adapt to any situation that arises.    


Advice for those considering the type of job/role?

To anyone considering this role I would suggest that regardless of what service area they find themselves to read relevant literature and be aware of what specific policies and procedures are in place.

I feel it is also important to keep yourself up to date with any developments that are going on as within forensics, in particular, there is a lot to learn and it’s an area that is constantly changing.


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