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Nursing and professional development is a lifelong process; and looking at the constant changes, new methods and clinical skills are imperative to keep up to date with current practices and profession regulations.

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What does compassion mean to you?

Since the 1960s, the term compassion has been a key fundamental aspect in providing excellent nursing care, thanks to Florence Nightingale. Over the years, we have had many government reports published, highlighting the improvements which are needed.

Every bespoke nursing agency should be underpinned and built around compassionate care.

As a Clinical Manager, I feel it is imperative to ensure all our employees are committed and understand the term compassionate care. From the finance department to the consultants, everyone should play a part. Gaining an understanding of our clients and workers needs is a vital role in building healthy relationships. It is important to remember compassion does not just come from working on the front line, it is something that is embedded from the start and throughout the employment process.

Here at Bluestones, regardless of job role, we understand how compassionate care impacts on lives. Each member of the Bluestones Medical team has been asked to give one word or a short sentence on what compassion means to them, which you can see below.

Thank you to one of our Fulfilment Consultants for this statement that brings everything together.

Compassion is putting yourself in someone else’s shoes (empathy) and caring about how they feel

– Hannah Potter

What does compassion mean to you? Have your say on our Facebook page…

Genomics and nursing practice

Genomics is a term we hear mainly from Doctors or Specialists within the field. The study of an individuals genes is something which is imperative for the understanding and treatment of genetic conditions.

As a nurse, this is something we do not normally get involved with. A new article has been published by the Nursing Times, highlighting the importance of understanding genetics within nursing and how they want to embed this into standard Nursing practice.

We need to make sure every registered nurse and midwife feels comfortable understanding the basics of genomics

    – Janice Sigsworth

This process has already been put into practice in certain areas of nursing by specialists within the field, this has been filtered back to nursing staff showing some really good results. Regardless of the field of nursing you are in, genomics will play an imperative role.

I believe this a such a positive step for nurses across the board. Over the years nursing has altered immensely, giving nurses much more responsibly, education and clinical skills. Today within the profession, we are seeing nurses carrying out tasks historically only a Dr would be competent to do.

But what does everyone else think? Have your say on our Facebook page…

Bid to embed genomics into mainstream nursing practice

The article from Nursing Times states that for the NHS to realise its ambition of integrating genomics into routine care, it will need the backing of its largest workforce, nurses. You can read it in full HERE.

Can the record growth of nurses be sustained?

Everyone who is of has worked within the healthcare industry will be aware of how important and how much we rely on overseas nurses.

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Are we supporting our nurses?

As an RGN, I am fully aware of the physical and mental impact the role can have. Nursing comes with a great sense responsibility and can impact the lives of others immensely. Shutting off after a twelve-hour shift is proven to be very difficult, which I am sure many would agree.

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Agency working tips

What to think about before starting an agency shift

Joining any agency can be difficult, especially when it is for the first time. With any agency you join, it is important to seek out the support you are offered beforehand, this support is something that you should expect from the moment you decide to join and every day throughout your time working. Agency work can be lonely at times, but having that support will make all the difference. Asking friends and colleagues what their experiences have been like, and what support they should expect can be beneficial. Sit back and think what the reasons are and where do you want the agency to take you?

Agency work can be an amazing experience once you have found the right team to look after you. It can give you that work-life balance, which we all know working within the health care setting, can be impossible at times. Different experiences will widen and build your clinical skill set dramatically, along with building your personal development. Anyone who has worked for an agency will be aware that sometimes it can be daunting especially at first, new faces, environments and in my case even driving to a new hospital was quite worrying at first.

The following information will guide you on how to prepare and feel confident when carrying out your first shifts.

Be prepared

When arriving at your allocated placement, ensure you have all of the relevant equipment. Such as pens, ID badge, correct uniform and your NMC pin number.

We all know the first impression can make a big impact, and being prepared will make you stand out from others. Doing this the day before your shift will help with any unexpected stresses you may face on the day.

Arrive early and be aware of where you are going beforehand. This is one thing I learnt early on in my agency career; I am happy to say my Nursing skills are far better than my directional skills and my ability to follow a sat-nav system. Arriving early will enable you to have a look around, gauging your surroundings, and the atmosphere can set you up for the rest of your shift. Showing your dedication by doing this will also make you stand out and be remembered.

 Never be afraid to ask questions

Being an agency nurse for the first time, regardless of how well trained you are or experienced, does not mean you are expected to know everything. Nursing and Healthcare is a daily learning process for everyone involved. When arriving at your allocated placement, ensure you are given an induction. If this is not offered or expected information is not given, then ask. Explain this is your first time in the trust or placement.

From previous experience, this is the required information I should be expected to be told:

  • Fire procedure, exits and meeting points
  • Emergency procedures, crash trolley, oxygen and emergency bells
  • Where policies and procedures are located
  • How notes are documented paper/online system
  • Who is in charge and who to speak to for support?
  • A short walk around the area who will be working in
  • Restrooms and of course the coffee machine

Once you are happy with the induction process and you feel that you have all the information needed to carry your shift safely, this is when you can exchange handover. Regardless of where an individual has previously worked a handover should be very similar. This will allow you to determine how many patients are in your care, their health condition, and any other needs they may have.

Communication

We all know communication is an integral part of any health care professional role, communicating with our patients is something i am sure we all do to be best of our ability. However, do we do with our co-workers to a similar degree? I can honestly say previously attempting to start a friendly conversation with a new colleague was something I found difficult in a new area; however, the initial difference it makes at the start of a shift outweigh that 30 seconds of anxiety. Try to remember names and interact with the team you are working with, we all try our best with our patients, so it is just as important to do it with our co-workers.

Reflect

After your shift has finished always reflect on what happened, what went well and what did not go so well – this will put you in good stead for the future. If your first shift did not go well, do not be too hard on yourself. Agency work can be an entirely new world for some, especially those who have worked within the same employer for many years. Feedback to your agency, if they have clinical staff ask for advice, there is a good chance they will be able to offer help or support. The main thing to remember that although agency work can seem lonely at times, a good and supportive agency will be there 24/7 to ensure you are not alone.

What is reflection?

Reflective practice was introduced way back in the early 20th century by the famous John Dewey. Following on from this – the theory of reflection has continued to grow and had developed immensely. The process itself allows an individual to continuously improve with professional practice and personal development. This is done by allowing yourself to be able to make sense of an experience.

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International Nurses Day in Kelly’s Corner

Not only is it the International Year of the Nurse and Midwife this year – but also today we mark the 200th year of the birth of Florence Nightingale. As we all know this day is to celebrate the amazing work nurses are doing daily around the world. In addition to this I think it is important that we acknowledge that this year is not your average year!

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An intro to Kelly’s Corner

As a registered nurse myself working on the front line – I wanted to firstly thank you all for the amazing compassion and professionalism you have shown throughout these times of uncertainly.

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A day in the life

People often ask what my role as a ‘Compliance Officer’ entails. In short, I collate documents together in order to ensure candidates can be signed off so we can start providing them with shifts, but the reality is that it is not as easy as it sounds.

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