To celebrate International Nurses Day 2021 (12 May) Amanda Davieson, Ward Sister at The London Clinic, explains more about her role, the difference it makes to patient outcomes and safety, and how caring for people has always been in her blood.
Growing up in rural Ireland, I had to go and live with my elderly grandmother aged 18, whilst studying for A-levels. She had Alzheimer’s/dementia and could not be left unsupervised overnight.
I was involved in all aspects of her personal care and really enjoyed it. It gave me great satisfaction to know that I could prevent her from being admitted to a hospital or Nursing Home.
I think caring for people has always been "in my blood", and I’m not sure what else I would do if I had not become a nurse.
I started working at The London Clinic in January 1997. I worked here for a couple of years and then went off to do a round-the-world trip.
During this time, I worked in Sydney, Australia, in orthopaedics and spinal surgery. I came back to The London Clinic in 2001 and I have been here ever since.
Each day is so different and when you put on the uniform, you feel proud to work at The London Clinic. It involves thinking on your feet and being ready for any eventuality.
The morning handover is followed by the patient’s breakfast and the medication round. Our consultants visit at various times throughout the day, although most patients are admitted in the morning when they are prepared for their surgery, or other procedures.
Pre- and post-operative care and patient safety rounds ensue throughout the shift. I have to plan ahead for the night shift and provide adequate and safe staffing levels as well as looking ahead for the next 48 hours, to ensure shifts are covered with the correct number of staff providing the correct mixture of skills.
I meet with the bed manager in the morning to look at the day’s patient discharges and to plan and allocate beds for patients coming into hospital.
Throughout the day there is constant communication between the entire multi-disciplinary team in co-ordinating patient care and planning and preparing for safe patient discharge. Patients are assisted with washing, dressing and feeding as required, during the day. Night staff typically arrive by 8pm for the night handover.
At The London Clinic, we are a registered charity. We have a fabulous reputation for patient care and people tend to work here for long periods of time.
Our staff retention rate is exceptional. This makes it feel like we are all working together as one big family. As a result, we have exceptional patient feedback.
In orthopaedics and spinal surgery, it is the satisfaction of seeing our patients leaving hospital, in a much more pain free and stable condition than when they arrived.
Their orthopaedic or spinal conditions, whether injuries, congenital or acquired disorders, have been treated and many of our surgeries produce life-changing results. It is heart-warming to see your patient leave the hospital pain free with a new lease of life.
Good quality nursing care matters to everyone involved in the patient journey. The quality of nursing care makes a vital difference in patient outcomes and safety.
Delivering nursing care that minimises risk and harm to a patient is paramount. Seamless care through effective teamwork with other professionals provides a holistic approach to patient-centred care.
Good outcomes for patients give us and the wider clinical team a sense of pride in our work, based on patient-centred, evidence-based practice.
My niece has just embarked on her nurse training. I have totally encouraged this.
It is a rewarding and satisfying career. Yes, it has its ups and downs but the camaraderie and friendships you make in your nursing career are made for life. It is a career that can be as diverse as you wish to make it and can allow you to travel.
Nurses make a real difference - you are quite literally saving lives.
All I can say is, it gives me a great satisfaction, and sense of achievement, and every day is different. I love the people I work with and I love my job.