Practice development nurse Sharon Harrison tells us why continuous improvement is so important and talks about life in critical care during the first wave of Covid19
Practice development is a relatively new team and our overall aim is to make sure our nurses are working to the highest possible standards while constantly improving.
Really, it’s all about focusing on patient care and making sure we’re delivering the best we possibly can.
Sometimes that’s about change but of course change is hard particularly in medicine and nursing, where sometimes things have been done in the same way for many years.
We’re currently looking at things like frailty, elderly care and patient observations because we want people to be the best they can be. I feel that our team can make a real difference by supporting nurses and helping them improve, which then has a huge impact on patients.
Nurses are often the main people that patients and families deal with so we want them to have all the skills, knowledge and confidence they need to provide the best possible service.
It’s also about showing how we learn and improve from incidents – we’re all human so things will go wrong at times but it’s about how we learn from that.
Often people on the front line will have fantastic ideas but not the time to implement them, so we try to help and support them to get these improvements off the ground.
I’ve worked for Northumbria since 2004 after moving to the North East from Yorkshire and have previously worked in cardiology and intensive care nursing.
I really enjoy the camaraderie of being a nurse and working as part of a team. It’s a hugely rewarding career and it’s always so varied.
During the first wave of Covid19 I was redeployed away from this role to support intensive care because I’ve worked there in the past.
It was a very anxious and emotional time for all of us but it was important to try and stay positive for the patients and the rest of the team, because everyone was working so hard.
It was amazing to see how the whole team of doctors, nurses and other healthcare staff all pulled together for our patients.
The pandemic has been really life changing for everyone, but especially staff in the NHS. One of the hardest things for me personally was in the early days when people were dying, often quite quickly, and were unable to have their families with them.
As a nurse there are always days when things can be very upsetting, but this was something else because we had the extra fear for ourselves and our own families.
In Northumbria I can honestly say that the trust did so well in supporting people through all of this.
When we’re faced with so many challenges we’ve proved that we can all get through it together. Staff resilience has been incredible and it just shows what we can achieve when we all come together.