What I believe the value of DN SPQ has been to my practice and those we care for, and why I think it is important for the future workforce
I am so proud to call myself an SPQ District Nurse, a title which I have held proudly and passionately since 2000.
Why does this matter so much to me? Because it matters to those who come into contact with the DN service.
I see my SPQ qualification as transformational. Of course, it equipped me with the knowledge and skills required to be an effective team leader, team manager, caseload manager, and case manager, but it gave me far more than this. It helped me appreciate how to identify and manage risk and identify challenges and inequity in health care provision. It enabled me to develop the skills to manage and supervise staff, both nurses and other members of the team working without direct supervision.
It taught me about myself: who I am, how I think, why I think as I do. It transformed me as a person and enabled me to thrive, grow, develop, and push myself like never before. It encourages me to become the evidence-based, critical thinker I am today, widening my thinking and viewpoints.
The accountability of the DN team is expanding like never before. The level of care, skill, knowledge, and responsibility required in caring for acutely ill patients, those living with long term conditions and those requiring end of life care and support is extraordinary.
These areas of practice are ‘specialist’: the Specialist Practitioner Qualification is essential to ensuring the specialist nature of the practice is explicit in workforce models.
The value of the SPQ DN is almost impossible to define and identify. We all know that the demand for the care and support DN services provide is increasing. If care nearer to home is to be provided, the role of the SPQ DN in leading, facilitating, guiding, and overseeing this care, and that of the team is paramount.