Nursing Associates Blog - June 2017 - Abigail Frost
I had been a clinical support worker on CWP’s older people’s acute ward in Macclesfield for just over two years when I decided I wanted to become a nursing associate.
I loved my previous job but wanted to develop my skill set and understanding into different areas. The nursing associate programme is everything I was waiting for: It allows me to develop my career and gain a mountain of knowledge in mental health, physical health and learning disabilities.
Patients have always been at the heart of everything I do and this role backs up everything I believe in. I am proud to be person centred and provide advocacy to those who need it most. This role will add to the nursing workforce skill mix.
From the placements I have completed so far it is clear to see how the nursing associate role would fit and how I could adapt it to different areas.
My first placement was on Bollin ward (adult acute mental health). I must admit I was quite apprehensive as it is a completely different service group than what I had previously been used to.
I was totally reassured before I’d even finished my first shift! Sophie, my placement supervisor, couldn’t have been nicer and if there was ever a moment when I wasn’t sure about something, she was more than happy to take the time to explain or show me things fully.
I have met some wonderful patients on my placement and I am proud to have been part of their journey. I would like to thank them and the staff on Bollin ward for being so welcoming and making me feel like part of the team. I was gutted when I had to leave this wonderful team!
I have now moved on to pastures new and my second placement is with the Community Learning Disability Team in Trafford. This is a completely new area for me and I’m excited to get stuck in. I have already been involved in so much and the team are keen for me to develop my knowledge and skills. Everybody has been really helpful and it’s so lovely to see how positive everyone is about the nursing associate programme.
I am less than six months into my training and wish it never had to end. I am enjoying meeting new people and experiencing different services – to gain experience in mental health, physical health and learning disability already is a huge privilege.
The teams I have worked with so far change people’s lives for the better and that’s something I aspire to do too. I feel really lucky to have been chosen for this role and to be part of the first cohort and I would recommend this role to anyone interested in helping others.
Senior Nursing Team update: Gary Flockhart, Associate Director of Nursing and Therapies
We’re at an interesting time in the programme where our trainees are moving on from their initial teams to their next placements.
This process of adapting to change is something they’ll need to get used to throughout the programme, with support from ourselves, their mentors and the teams themselves. But I think Abigail, and the rest of our trainees for that matter, are displaying exactly the right attitude by embracing the variety of placements on offer.
Few staff get the opportunity to gain a thorough understanding of mental health, physical health and learning disability, as well as the links between each of these very different types of care.
We’re really pleased with our trainees’ progress to date across all three areas and I’d like to wish everyone the best of luck in their second placements.
Cheshire and Wirral is one of the first 11 pilot sites across England to pioneer the new nursing associate role. Six local NHS Trusts, including CWP, are working closely with partners to support 44 trainees as part of the two-year course. Click here for more information.
To find out more about opportunities at CWP please visit our ‘Working for Us’ pages.