Learning on the job
I had been told that there will be no more money for me to go on a particular course I wish to attend, at least until September. Not wishing to let that deter me I asked if I could visit the clinic where this particular aspect of care is carried out by a nurse-led specialist unit. Of course I could. In my own time.
I rang the clinic a couple of weeks ago and booked a day. The nurse I spoke to was delighted in my interest and very welcoming.
Yesterday was the day.
Yesterday I watched a practitioner with expert hands perform highly skilled tasks, while communicating effectively, empathetically and with humour. She respected her patients. She taught me and involved me, asked my opinion and was open to ideas from a nurse outside her sphere.
This clinic is called ‘nurse-led’ clinic because there are no doctors in charge, though there are doctors in the department next door who are willing to provide support when needed. And this nurse-led clinic is highly effective in what it does, bringing relief and comfort to a diverse group of patients in a calm and organised manner. This type of clinic is one of the things that is good about the NHS and is rarely applauded. There are little pockets of excellence, each doing their own thing and doing it so well.
But…. (there has to be a ‘but’ doesn’t there?)….the work this clinic does barely scrapes the tip of the iceberg. The demand is growing, in the main exacerbated by the growing band of bariatric patients.
Strangely the clinic does not have direct access or referral rights to a dietitian or to a psychologist, and if it is felt that the patient would benefit from either of these the clinic nurse has to refer back to the GP to refer on to another professional. This seems odd to me. Surely this is creating another layer of unnecessary work?
What concerns me most about the way the NHS is currently being disorganised is this risk of fragmentation of services, of duplication and of the right hand not being fully aware of what the left is planning to do, or is doing already.
Yesterday I had a coffee break and piece of cake: that’s how I celebrated Nurses day.
Hey ho, back to reality today.