Nursing Associates Blog - January 2018 - Allison Reed

26 January 2018

Hello, my name is Allison and I am currently starting the second year of training to be a Nursing Associate.

In April 2017, I wrote my first CWP Nursing Associates blog. Since then I have been on numerous placements.

My second placement began in June within Accident and Emergency and then onto Ward 4 at Macclesfield District General. I had never worked in an acute setting before, and I must admit I was nervous. However, with the assistance of my placement mentors I began to use my skills to adapt to the environment.

Among the many things I learned were; how  to recognise a patient who is deteriorating and the procedures to stop further deterioration, as well as getting involved with end-of-life care and providing  a means of support for family members around a sensitive time.

My third placement was with the district nursing team at Handforth and Wilmslow.

Here, I learned about wounds, pressure dressings, and the community based care of a patient living with a long-term condition and end-of-life care for those patients at home. I also got to spend time with the community matron who coordinates the care for people living with long-term conditions within the community setting.

Currently I am on a three-week bespoke placement with the substance misuse service in Macclesfield. During this placement I have enjoyed a multitude of experiences, covering all aspects of nursing. 

It has also been an amazing opportunity to put my knowledge into practice. I have learned a lot, and all the teams have been happy for me to shadow them and ask them questions.

Whilst here, I have also observed multi-disciplinary working at its best, helping to reduce the risk around domestic violence by attending a MARAC (Multi Agency Risk Assessment Committee) meeting.

I have also been able to get out and about in the community. For example, I helped to lead sessions on education, with regards to substance misuse in a local secondary school. I also attended a DEAP (Diagnostic Evaluation of Articulation and Phonology) session delivered by a partner organisation, during this time I enjoyed spending time with the service users and listening to their stories and hopes for the future.

Another thrilling experience was when I was invited to attend the Celebration of Recovery Event at Clonter Opera House in Congleton. This event was co –produced with people who access services and showed the incredible difference the service makes to people’s lives.

I am sad to be leaving the substance misuse team. I have learned so much in a short space of time. The care and compassion I witnessed from the staff of the substance misuse team will stay with me and hopefully shape the type of nursing associate I will become.

My next placement starts in February and is with CWP at Alderley unit in Nether Alderley. This will be my first time working on a learning disability unit and I am really looking forward to my time there.

Executive Update - Avril Devaney

As we begin the second year of training for our current nursing associate cohorts, I continue to be moved by the incredible feedback that we receive from those on the course. What is also heartening is that the positive stories don’t just come from the nursing associates, but also from people who access services and colleagues at CWP who have been supporting trainees on their placements. One colleague said: “The patients all expressed how much they liked her and appreciated the time she spent with them.  They all felt valued by her after every interaction / intervention, however small.”

When I first read Allison’s story, I was pleased to hear about the variation in her placement experiences. This will help to develop the essential nursing skills that Allison will need when she eventually works in as a qualified Nursing Associate. I was also particularly pleased to hear about her very positive experience and learning with our substance misuse service team in East Cheshire. Allison recognises that the team’s skills include all fields of nursing. This reflects the person centred approach that we are focusing on with our trainees. Substance misuse services have long understood that a person’s care outcomes are best if you see the person beyond their dependency.

Well done to Allison and to all our trainees as they enter their second year of training. We hope that you continue to build on your learning and experiences from year one.

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