Presently I am working in the Emergency Department at the Royal Victoria Hospital (Belfast Trust) which is also the Regional Trauma Centre.
Initial Education /Nurse Training
I qualified as a Registered Nurse in 2000 from Homerton College, Cambridge. Since qualification I have always worked in acute care both in acute admission units and Emergency medicine. This has been my professional passion.
My Role as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner
My role as an Advanced Clinical Practitioner is new to Northern Ireland and demonstrates how far Emergency nursing has progressed over the years. It also demonstrates the amazing opportunity that is available for Emergency nursing in the future. My role as an independent practitioner in the Emergency Department allows me to clinically assess, diagnose, prescribe, admit or discharge patients independently. It is the most amazing honour as a nurse to be able to provide holistic clinical care to all categories of patients who attend an Emergency Department at their time of need.
Emergency Nursing offers fantastic opportunities for nurses both at personal and professional levels. It allows nurses to develop knowledge in a wide range of areas. You also have a unique opportunity to care for patients and their relatives at potentially the most vulnerable time in their life. I see this as both an honour and a privilege. The team ethos between nursing and medical staff in Emergency Departments is unique and your fellow team members really do become your “second family”. In my opinion there really is no other job that comes close to matching being a nurse within an Emergency Department.
Post Registration Education
Apart from the daily experience of working clinically I have also had the opportunity to professionally develop new skills over the years. These include undertaking an Independent Prescribing course, being an Advanced Life support instructor and recently being offered the opportunity to become a European Trauma instructor that will allow me to teach trauma care anywhere in Europe. The support to develop has allowed me to network with other multidisciplinary colleagues and share good evidence based practice. It also allows me to build links outside of Northern Ireland especially with the exciting opportunities around major trauma networks and Pre-hospital care.
I have just completed my MSC in Health Sciences, which has allowed me as a professional nurse, to attain a recognised academic standard to provide the best evidence based care to my patients. This qualification clearly valued that special role that nursing has in integrating both the art and science of care.
I am very honoured to be a nurse working in an Emergency Department. I look forward to the development of emergency nursing in the future.