The importance of maintaining the CCN SPQ programme
I have held my CCN SPQ since 2005. I qualified whilst working within a CCN team that covered a large geographical area supporting children and families across both urban and rural locations. In 2009, I stepped into children’s palliative care and have continued to utilise and value my CCN SPQ within the complex facilitation and coordination required in children’s palliative and end of life care.
A recent example of this is the discharge home of a child with a complex neurological condition with escalating symptom management requirements for end-of-life care. This required team facilitation across 4 differing nursing teams and 3 differing medical teams. My SPQ equipped me with the knowledge and experience to engage all teams within this complex transition. Having professional respect and understanding of all practitioners’ capabilities, remits and capacities are crucial in maintaining the momentum of the collaboration and commitment across all teams. Excellent communication skills regarding practice expectations and rapidly escalating symptom management requirements were essential. Expert evidence-based clinical knowledge and demonstration of transparent decision-making skills were key to cohesive working across the 4 teams.
Children are not little adults. They have multiple complexities and subtle but crucial physiological and psychosocial differences across all age ranges, with a wide variation between cognitive and developmental ability. As such programmes of advanced practice and studies should not be amalgamated within those programmes specific to adult services. Their health and wellbeing and public health considerations are unique and the specialist status of the CCN SPQ must be protected.
The transformational leadership properties instilled through SPQ training are vital in leading multidisciplinary and multiagency teams required in the collaborative team approach to children’s end of life care. Strategic influence is a key feature of my Diana Children’s Nurse for the West of Scotland role. My SPQ equipped me with the confidence to make a positive and effective contribution to the strategic planning required from Health and Social Care Partnerships, Health Boards and Third sector organisations delivering holistic services to children.
The exploration of leadership skills and community health policy drivers afforded through a programme of protected study within a CCN SPQ course is vital in building and elevating practitioner knowledge. The SPQ demonstrates more than just advanced clinical knowledge and expertise. It evidences advanced decision-making skills that are required in strategic planning, workforce development and expert clinical practice that is specific to children’s community nursing care needs. As a CCN SPQ nurse, I am required to adopt a critical approach to nursing care in the community ensuring my own practice, my team and the wider team base their holistic practice on an up-to-date relevant evidence base. A commitment to delivering education and advancing the future research agenda specific to babies, children and young people is key within the CCN SPQ role.