From 1997 until April 2017 I was employed as a Band 6 Sister caring for both high dependency and intensive care patients within the Darlington Critical Care Unit. I was largely clinically based with a managerial, educational, and supportive role in equal measure. I was a shift leader, a communicator, an enabler, and a clinical nurse, working in a multi-disciplinary critical care team.
I retired from the NHS in March 2013 but returned to the same role until April 2017, when I reduced my working hours to two 7.5 hour days and returned to the critical care environment in a senior staff nurse role. I continue to be employed by the Darlington & Durham NHS Foundation Trust.
My over-riding interest in critical care nursing, and what keeps me in this environment is good emotional and psychological care, so important in all interactions, but in the critical care setting is pivotal for the well-being of patients and their families. This interest under-pinned more recent work and research into the needs of patients at the end of life, and into the support both patients and their families need at this traumatic time.
I work closely with the North of England Critical Care Network (N.O.E.C.C.N) in the provision of both end of life documentation, and bereavement tool initiatives, designed to support and guide the patient, their loved ones, and the critical care nurse at this time. It is my hope that these initiatives will also guide the recently bereaved in our care on to a healthier and more therapeutic pathway of grieving.
My Sisters role incorporated a broad agenda including teaching, networking with regional networking groups, safeguarding, appraisal and clinical supervision work within a small critical care team. I worked towards our successful Charter Mark award in 2004, leading a small group in collating our combined work for accreditation, and with the CQC Self Inspection Report @ UHND in October 2014. I have been the End of Life lead since 2013 working with the N.O.E.C.C.N group. I continue to work with the North of England Critical Care Network group as a band 5 staff nurse since retirement and return to critical care nursing.
As a band 5 staff nurse I continue to care for both high dependency and intensive care patients, and remain in the privileged position of supporting patients and families in what can be a traumatic time for both.