We provide the most critical level of care for extremely premature babies
My first nursing job was on an Ear, Nose and Throat (ENT) department. I experienced caring for adult patients who had often been through 12-hour operations and suffered altered body image following facial surgery. The initial post-operative period required one-to-one nursing which led me to consider critical care nursing.
I decided to gain some work experience in neonatal nursing. I quickly realised it was the career for me so I applied to complete a course to gain both the knowledge and skills to become a specialist neonatal intensive care nurse.
I've progressed through various roles in the NHS and am now a matron on a level 3 neonatal unit. We provide the most critical level of care for extremely premature babies, often with cardiac conditions and requiring surgery. I can safely say that one day is never like the next! You never know what you will be dealing with, and that includes many highs alongside the lows.
Being in charge of the neonatal intensive care unit not only involves the day-to-day management of the unit, but also recruitment and HR issues of nursing staff. I oversee the training and development of the nursing team in order to provide the correct level of nursing skills needed. I also work closely with a range of other healthcare professionals within children's services and get involved in the development of new services.
Throughout my nursing career, I have been given opportunities to develop different skills and further my career. For example, my employer has supported me in completing my master's in health management. I now have a greater understanding of healthcare systems, finance and leadership skills.