Image: Staff.“I have been qualified 6 months now. Wow, what a learning curve!

I now have accountability and responsibility for the patients on the ward. This means that I am accountable for the decisions I make and the medical interventions I do to patients. I could get in to serious trouble if I try and do things I am not trained to do. I work closely with the healthcare support workers but also other health professionals, such as physiotherapists, social workers, radiologists and consultants, for example.

Today I started at 7 a.m. and I am here until 7.30 tonight. I have eight patients to care for. Initially I help get people up out of bed, some with the aid of a hoist. Then I see to all medication needs which can include administrating tablets or giving injections or medicating directly into veins. I have two patients coming in and three that are hopefully going home today. I have to coordinate all that and ensure my patients are safe at all times.

Two patients need blood transfusions and one patient is going for physiotherapy; another is undergoing a kitchen assessment, and one of my patients in my charge, is not well this morning. Therefore, I need to monitor and report all the findings to the doctor when he/she comes on the ward at about 9 a.m. However, I am responsible for the patients’ care and I would make the judgement to call a doctor or nurse practitioner, if I recorded any changes that meant the patient was getting worse.

I am responsible for staff and also families that come on the ward and will need to talk to two families later today about coming in for a meeting about the future care of their loved one.

It's a lot to remember. I make the decisions on my own a lot, but always contact more senior people if I am not sure. I have met so many lovely people during my training and since I have qualified. Being part of a patient’s care is quite humbling.”

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