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After qualifying I soon gained a position as Matron of a private nursing home. This gave me an insight into the world of management dealing with both staff and patient issues. During my time as a staff nurse on a busy surgical ward I would take charge of the ward on occasions on night and day duty. This gave me the opportunity to develop many skills inclusive of ward management, staff management, clinical expertise and communication skills. Whilst undertaking a number of courses, for example, wound care, and the principles of infection control, I became a link nurse for these issues and received experience in managing specific areas of clinical practice within a team and communication of new skills. It was during this time that I received experience in auditing practice, presenting findings back to the ward team.
Working in the community provides you with a different pace of work which is something you would have to get used to at the start. Allow yourself time to adjust to that and remind yourself of the need to adopt a pace of work that fits in with the patients and their needs. This type of environment also brings variety of work and with that, more use of clinical nursing skills. You must be aware that you will be working more on your own and making use of available resources. Whilst in the job you will learn to do this and should give yourself time to make these adjustments to your method of working. You will also need to get used to making assessments and decisions on your own and having the confidence in your own judgment to do that.
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