Meet the Community Nurses

Nurses are often seen as the unsung heroes of the NHS, working hard in the background to improve standards of patient care. Among those working to support patients on the Isle of Wight in a non-hospital setting are nurses in the Community Nursing Service.

Marion Medland, 60, is a Community Nurse from Wootton Bridge. She tells the Beacon about her role, which covers the East Cowes, Ryde and Bembridge areas.

How did you get into nursing?

I always wanted to be a nurse; I was a ‘cadet’ nurse for a year, then began my nurse training in 1968.

Tell us about a ‘typical’ day

Insulin-dependent patients are seen first thing, then into the surgery to get my patient list for the day and start my round. I stop for lunch at some point and then discuss patients with colleagues at team handover. I also liaise with other healthcare professionals as appropriate.

Describe your work in three words

Rewarding, enjoyable, interesting.

What is the most bizarre work situation you have been in?

Setting off the fire alarms at the surgery and not remembering the code to stop it!

What is the best thing about your job?

Meeting people and feeling that I make a difference to their lives.

 

 

Another case study:

Rebecca Green, 37, is a District Nurse Team Leader from East Cowes. She tells the Beacon about her role, which covers Cowes, Newport and Wootton.

How did you get into nursing?

My parents! But I have to say I don’t regret it.

Tell us about a ‘typical’ day

It starts at 8am and the team works through to 8pm, with an on-call service from 8pm to 8am. Early visits include seeing diabetic patients, giving eye drops and fasting blood tests. The day can include up to 20 visits, then it’s back to base at about 1pm for a handover, liaising with other healthcare professionals and forming the next day’s list. Then it’s back out on the road for any remaining visits.

Describe your work in three words

Caring, fulfilling, satisfying

What is the best thing about your job?

Seeing and being with my patients and knowing them as people, not just for their condition.

What is your top tip for a healthy lifestyle?

Love life, share your worries and stresses, care about others and they will care about you!

The relationship with GPs has been strengthened, but most of all the design of the service is now about meeting the needs of the patient and providing the appropriate professional at the right time.

The Community Nursing Service has recently undergone some quite significant changes. The move into the three areas was from nine separate teams including a separate evening team. A 24-hour service is now being provided, with planned care between 8am and 8pm and an on-call out-of-hours service from 8pm until 8am. The changes to the structure of the service have strengthened the management of teams, enabling them to be more responsive locally to fluctuations in workload. This has changed the culture within the service and developed a more flexible workforce, allowing a more responsive approach to patient need. The relationship with GPs has been strengthened, but most of all the design of the service is now about meeting the needs of the patient and providing the appropriate professional at the right time.

Another case study:  

Debra Hanson, 52, is a Senior Staff Nurse from Carisbrooke. She tells the Beacon about her role, which covers Sandown, Shanklin, Brading, Ventnor, Godshill and Brighstone.

How did you get into nursing?

I have always enjoyed working with people. This role allows me the freedom and flexibility to place my own individual stamp on nursing. And it gives me the privilege of caring for people in their own homes.

Tell us about a ‘typical’ day

I carry out home visits administering medication to diabetic patients, and check that other team members feel supported to carry out their tasks. I’ll see possibly another eight to ten patients with varying conditions which need dressings, assess other patients and possibly visit one or more terminally ill patients. At lunchtime, I’ll review the caseload and check everyone has an achievable list of patients to complete. Afterwards, I check for any messages and resume visits, tying up paperwork before going off duty.

Describe your work in three words

Rewarding, frustrating, demanding

What is the most bizarre work situation you have been in?

Checking the wrong patient’s bottom – the others may be too rude!

What is your top tip for a healthy lifestyle?

Smile and live each day as it may be your last.

The Community Nursing Service has recently undergone some quite significant changes. The move into the three areas was from nine separate teams including a separate evening team. A 24-hour service is now being provided, with planned care between 8am and 8pm and an on-call out-of-hours service from 8pm until 8am. The changes to the structure of the service have strengthened the management of teams, enabling them to be more responsive locally to fluctuations in workload. This has changed the culture within the service and developed a more flexible workforce, allowing a more responsive approach to patient need. The relationship with GPs has been strengthened, but most of all the design of the service is now about meeting the needs of the patient and providing the appropriate professional at the right time.

Author: Isle of Wight Beacon

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