SAPHNA Senior Leadership Team member and SAPHNA Committee Member.
I have worked as a qualified nurse for 31 years in a variety of settings and specialities, offering me a diverse experience of nursing. The specialities include cardiology, respiratory, endocrinology and Emergency Department. In all of these areas 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 School Nursing Immunisation Team I found that many of the skills I developed on the ward were 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. Whilst working with the Immunisation Team I became more aware of the health inequalities experienced by many of our young people and the social determinants that impact on health. This led to the opportunity to successfully apply for the SCPHN course and then secure a job with Stockport School Nursing Service.
I have worked as a Specialist Community Public Health Nurse (School Nurse) since 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 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 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. I have recently retired and returned to the role as a School Nurse Team Leader which has allowed me the flexibility to increase my involvement with SAPHNA as Interim Deputy Professional Lead. The best part of the week however remains the time I spend in school in my drop in, it is a privilege to be able to work with young people and support them in their health journey.