Can you tell us a bit about yourself, your background and your time at BMI The Beardwood Hospital?
I am a trained nurse with a background in general surgery. 20 years ago I became an infection control nurse, a role I've undertaken in an acute hospital, community hospitals, community staff and supporting GPs.
I moved to my current role three years ago, providing infection control and prevention expertise to a group of BMI hospitals full-time.
My role is vast – I make sure we're meeting the requirements of the Health and Social Care Act regarding prevention of healthcare-acquired infections, training staff, and giving advice and support to staff and patients.
I also audit and give feedback regarding the appropriate use of antibiotics. I also investigate any patients who have an infection post-operatively to ensure there were no lapses in our care of them.
Describe a typical day/week at The Beardwood Hospital for you.
There’s no such thing as a typical day! I usually begin with checking my emails and dealing with anything that’s come in overnight. I visit pharmacy and pick up details of the patients who've been given antibiotics and review their notes to see if they were appropriate.
Each time I'm on site I do a walk around the hospital to visit departments and staff – being approachable and visible is very important in my role. You'd be surprised what comes up in conversation! That “oh, just whilst you’re here” talk can be very varied!
What aspects of your role do you enjoy the most?
The variety! The activities I'm involved in are so wide ranging. I can be observing in the operating theatre one minute and down in the plant room the next!
How does your role benefit patients?
Influencing patient safety through the actions of others is the backbone of my job. It’s having that patient safety at the heart of everything I do that makes my job worthwhile for me. Being able to answer questions and alleviate patient’s worries is really satisfying.
What has been your greatest achievement so far at the hospital?
I have produced an antimicrobial strategy with various work streams, many of which we have already fulfilled. This ensures we are using antibiotics appropriately and helping to manage resistance.
I have been asked to be a guest lecturer on the post-graduate infection control course at Manchester University in April. I am really looking forward to sharing my expertise with others and promoting the independent healthcare sector.
What activities do you enjoy outside of work?
I love singing and sing in Glossop chorale society. We practise weekly and perform three concerts a year. I go away on singing weekends run by the Natural Voice Network. It's a very different type of singing where we learn songs by call and response.
I am the secretary of our local sailing club where my son sails his dinghy boats. It’s a very friendly inclusive club. I often end up doing the galley (breakfast cobs, lunch and tea/cakes) for racing events we run in the summer. I also organise the annual prize-giving and celebration event in November, which usually attracts 100 people!
I have a daily practise in mindfulness self-compassion. I do a day or weekend retreat to escape the humdrum of daily life whenever I can fit it in. During those retreats I often write poetry, usually about nature. I feel at home in nature.
My garden - complete with chickens - is a good place to go after a busy day at work to rest and recharge, ready for the next day!
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