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Celebrating International Nurses Day, Sharon Harrison tells us about her new exciting role as an NMAHP Education & Development Lead

Wednesday, 11 May, 2022
Celebrating International Nurses Day, Sharon Harrison tells us about her new exciting role as an NMAHP Education & Development Lead

Hi, my name is Sharon and I’m the new NMAHP Education & Development Lead for Post Registration and my role is to provide senior leadership in the delivery of high quality NMAHP education and development across the Trust. This is a new position and one I am very excited to explore and develop. Together, with other key staff members, we are working towards a partnership with a university to deliver academic programs to meet the workforce needs.

I enjoy working for the trust as we have always led the way in new innovations and this continues with the development of the new Health and Care Academy as it will encourage staff to access the learning and development they need in order to deliver high quality care to our patients. I am looking forward to the development of the clinical skills centre of excellence, focusing on nursing, midwifery and allied health professional training.

As part of my role I have the pleasure of managing the Practice Development Team and the Mouth Care Lead. Both contributing to staff development and education which then has a positive impact on our patients. I see my role as one that encourages staff to be the best they can be. We all work under extreme pressures and face many challenges yet despite all the hurdles, our teams provide exceptional patient care and strive for excellence.

I have been a nurse for 19 years now. I did my diploma in higher education in adult nursing in Yorkshire and took my first position working on Cardiothoracic Intensive Care before moving north and making Northumberland my home where I joined the Critical Care team at Wansbeck General Hospital. Nursing critically ill patients in the Intensive Care environment often requires one to one nursing and I loved being able to deliver holistic care to my patients, addressing all of their needs and supporting their families.

Shortly after the global flu outbreak of Swine flu in 2010 I moved from Intensive Care to be a Sister in Cardiology, working on the acute ward and Coronary Care Unit. Leaving Critical Care was a difficult decision for me however, on reflection I feel I was able to transfer skills and develop many more as my career has progressed.

During my career I have always been supported to focus on my personal and professional development. I was able to complete my degree as well as the Health History & Physical Examination course at Northumbria University which introduces the process of history taking and assessing the physical manifestations of common disease processes. At present I am doing my Academic Professional Higher Apprenticeship in Education at Level 7 which is allowing me to understand my role as an educator further and develop original and creative teaching.

In 2020, after 9 years, I found myself redeployed back to Intensive Care to support the fight against COVID-19. I was faced with so many emotions and each day brought new challenges. Could I remember how to look after a ventilated patient? What if the machine for renal replacement therapy has changed so much I wouldn’t be any help? I desperately wanted to help rather than hinder the teams who were already working so hard. In unprecedented times, I was and still am, blown away by the support and camaraderie displayed during such difficult times.

I think that is what I love the most about nursing… the people.

By that I meant the teams I work with as well as the patients. I love the way each team member supports each other. We all have our strengths and weaknesses and when needed we all pull together and get through those tough shifts or emergency situations. I have never felt alone as a nurse and for that I am grateful.