Senior General Practice Nurse
Riverside Medical Practice is a semi-rural practice located across three sites in Patna, Coylton and Dalrymple – all within the NHS Ayrshire & Arran health board. I am employed as a General Practice Nurse (GPN) and the practice population is more than 4,000 patients. I qualified in 2015 with my last placement during training being with the District Nurse team at my current practice. I just fell in love with community nursing and was excited to be given the opportunity to start my first nursing role as a treatment room nurse. Now working as one of the practice nurses, I’m pleased to be part of an enthusiastic, forward thinking multidisciplinary team with a vision for the future of primary care.
I came into general practice straight after qualifying but I felt throughout my three-year degree that there wasn’t as much about community nursing as I would have liked. However, I knew from a very early stage that it was where I belonged. Being involved in people’s care and helping improve their health and wellbeing across all life’s stages as well as supporting people at home and in their day to day life was something that really appealed to me. I’ve started the role with a positive vision of how I can make a real difference to the people I meet. After just over a year as treatment room nurse, the practice asked if I would like to be GPN. The difference in these roles is that as the treatment room nurse I was responsible for clinical tasks such as wound care, ear syringing, immunisations, long term condition monitoring. As practice nurse I support people with long term conditions, helping them self-manage and live as well as possible with their condition. The knowledge needed to do my role is vast. I completed the NHS Education for Scotland GPN course and I have also completed a Masters Module in long term conditions and I’m waiting to start a non-medical prescribing module. This level of education and knowledge allows me to work autonomously when caring for the people with long term conditions. I also have a role in health promotion – such as sexual health, cervical screening and immunisation.
Focussing on people living with long term conditions, I have helped to develop a new way of working to make sure people have the support they need long term. It is not a one size fits all and we are taking a more flexible approach to the care we offer, with the patient in the driving seat. Allowing the individual to take responsibility for their care with our support, empowers people to live as full and healthy life as possible. Finding out what is best for the patient and offering a choice of how their care is delivered has increased engagement which will lead to better outcomes. I am only four years qualified and I know my learning will continue and I look forward to that. I care about being the best for my patients, for me and for my profession.
Being a Queen’s Nurse has given me the confidence to grow in my role. It has allowed me to see the difference that committed nurses can make. A vital part of my role is health promotion and education and there is so much potential for change in a community like ours. I want to be a role model for others, constantly exploring new ways of working together to improve people’s lives. I am passionate about the potential that general practice nurses have to support people to live well. We are in the heart of our communities and have a unique group of skills and knowledge that can help improve health and wellbeing. I believe the future for community nursing is challenging and exciting. It is a profession that is evolving fast. I hope to be an ambassador for general practice nursing and being a Queen’s Nurse will allow me to make an even bigger difference.