I have trained as a registered Children’s nurse, Adult nurse and a Midwife. I have worked in various posts as a Staff Nurse and came to the Emergency Department in 1999 the day our Department at the Royal Victoria Hospital opened. I loved the various challenges of the work and was keen to take on more responsibility.
I applied for a Deputy Sisters post in 2004 and have been in post since then. I am part of the Senior Team in the Emergency Department and we meet up regularly. Our Senior Team meetings provides a forum to voice concerns, issues and ideas and share communication. During each shift I co-ordinate the Nursing Team ensuring high quality person centred safe effective care is maintained.
My day begins with administrative work, and structuring the day. I co-ordinate the oncoming shift, change roles between triage, resuscitation and cubicles areas. Children require a range and variety of treatments such as plaster of paris, wound dressings, medications, suction and, clinical observations, bloods, urinary catheters, lumber punctures and antibiotics both intravenous and oral. The environment in our department can change within minutes depending on children presenting and severity of their illness. We work with a play specialist and provide trauma teddies to children to ensure they are happy and comfortable in our department.
Post Registration Education
To help me in my role I have undertaken courses such as:
Advanced Life Support
Paediatric Life Support
Hospital Major Incident course
These programmes ensure my skills in resuscitation are up to date. The Hospital Major Incident programme ensures I am prepared me to deal with a major incident should they be declared.
I have also undertaken Leadership and Facilitation programmes to help develop my Management and Leadership skills. I have attended Practice Development School where I leant the principles of action learning.
Our team has recently won 2nd place in the Belfast Trust Chairman’s awards which was celebrated with a reception in the City Hall.
I am a sign off mentor and ensure students at the end of their pre-registration training programme are safe and competent to enter the nursing register. Student nurses are keen to have a placement in the Emergency Department and many student nurses return to our Department as staff nurses which is very satisfying. I also teach and mentor new junior staff nurses which is hugely rewarding.
I am very lucky to work in an Emergency Department where team work is paramount and we strive to have a happy, safe and effective department.