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Helen McNeilly

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  • Helen McNeilly
  • Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Antrim Area Hospital, NHSCT

Job Role

In my role as Emergency Nurse Practitioner I see and treat patient’s with arrange of minor injuries/illness. I also have responsibility for service improvement within the minor injuries area of the Emergency Department.

Specific qualifications and experience required

I completed the specialist practice degree in Emergency care. And although not essential for the post I also completed Independent prescribing which I feel enabled me to further expand my role.

Career Milestones

After working on a temporary contract both full and part-time my milestone was obtaining a permanent full time ENP post.

What attracted you to the job

I was always keen on the clinical aspects of nursing, this role enabled me to expand my clinical knowledge and use it to enable me to see, treat and discharge patients autonomously.

Enjoyable aspects of the job/role

Being responsible for my own stream of patients. I enjoy being able to see patients in a timely fashion and every single day is a learning curve, after 7 years in the post I continue to encounter new things on a regular basis.

Important success factors

I have had the support of colleagues both nursing and medical to continue expand my scope of practice. I also enjoy learning and am willing to take on new roles and learn new skills.

I also regularly work shifts in Majors/Resus in order to maintain my skills that are not necessarily utilised in minor injuries.

Key skills that can be gained within this job/role

You can only be taught so much as University but it’s not until you start to practice that you learn all the skills required for the post e.g. x-ray recognition, examination skills. My communications skills also had to improve in order to get the relevant information I required as part of my history taking.

Advice for those considering the type of job/role

It’s a very rewarding role and I would actively encourage ED nurses who enjoy clinical aspects of nursing to pursue this route. However, it is a role where you constantly have to keep yourself up to date it’s a learning role and if you enjoy studying it’s potentially the role for you.

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