I have worked as a qualified nurse for 27 years in a variety of settings and specialities, offering me a diverse experience of nursing. The specialities include cardiology, respiratory, endocrinology and Emergency Department.
Delivering high standards of care has always been a priority and adapting this care to produce the best possible outcomes for the client remains vital in my practice today.
Moving to the Community in 2009 to work with the Immunisation Team I have found that many of the skills I developed on the ward are transferable to the community setting. Leading a large immunisation session in a busy high school requires strong leadership skills, effective and timely communication with all involved. It also requires the ability to be a team player whilst ensuring safety is maintained.
I have worked as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (School Nurse) in Stockport having gained this qualification in October 2013.The role of the school nurse is multi-faceted and one that is key in the public health arena.
In Sept 2016 I started a secondment with the Aspire Team within Stockport Family. The team is a multi agency team made up of specialist social workers and Phoenix CSE police officers. During the secondment I was able to scope the health role and develop a four day a week post. The impact of traumas such as Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE), Domestic Abuse or other complex safeguarding issues, are concerns that are raised regularly in discussion about young people on the School Nurse caseload. The Aspire role is a natural extension of the work of the school nurse where health assessments, Bichard assessments and Adolescent Wellbeing Scores are all part of the holistic assessment we offer. I completed the Contraception Reproduction and Sexual Health (CRASH) course in March 2015 which has enhanced my knowledge of the implications of poor sexual health and has allowed me to offer a more specialised service and advice about contraception and sexual health. Screening is an important part of the Aspire role with pregnancy testing and screening for sexually transmitted infections being offered as appropriate. I have gained insight into the barriers that young people face when trying to access these services in the community so home visits and flexibility in the offer of support would be essential.
As a Nurse Prescriber I have a unique level of service to offer young people, for example with prescriptions to support smoking cessation, being able to offer this service at home or where the young people feel comfortable to meet, removes a barrier to accessing help.
A major part of my role is offering training to the Health community in Stockport about the issues covered by the Complex Safeguarding Team. This has included training GP, Midwives, and Practice Nurses etc. Keeping up to date with the latest evidence based practice has always been important to me and cascading this learning to fellow professionals is an essential part of the role.
As a member of the SAPHNA committee I have gained a wider understanding of the strategic and national picture for public health nursing. The role gives opportunities for networking and being an advocate for children and their families.