I have worked in the adult social care sector with Brunelcare for 25 years and am a proud and passionate advocate for the work we do.
So I get frustrated when people deduce that nurses in social care facilities are worth less than nurses working in the NHS, as if we are poor relatives. For the record, this is completely false.
All adult social service nurses work as independent professionals. We have a diverse and interesting skill set, such as dementia specialist skills, team leadership, multidisciplinary partnership working, mentoring and coaching.
I graduated as a registered nurse in 1986. During my career I have worked in acute admissions and cardiology departments, in a cardiac catheterization unit and as a district nurse.
After the birth of my first daughter, I started working in a nursing home as it gave me flexible hours and a valuable understanding of nursing for the elderly. This allowed me to take a holistic and person-centered approach to nursing, while utilizing the skills acquired through my work in the acute and community sectors.
“Having a solid and broad clinical knowledge base is fundamental to my role as an adult social care nurse”
I enjoyed (yes, enjoyed) the job so much that I stayed in the industry. This included progressing my conversion from RN to Level 1, obtaining a management diploma and BSc (hons) end-of-life care specialist module, training as an NVQ assessor , obtaining a teaching diploma after 16 years and more. All thanks to my employer Brunelcare, a registered social service provider and a registered charity.
Since the people I care for live with so many co-morbidities, I have become proficient at managing long-term conditions. Having a strong and broad clinical knowledge base is fundamental to my role as an adult social care nurse.
I was fortunate to be recognized in the 2020 Queen’s Birthday Honor List for my response to Covid-19 and contribution to social care and received an MBE.
I accepted this, not just for myself, but for every nurse in the adult welfare sector.
Working as a nursing home nurse in a nurse-led environment requires excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills.
The people we care for, their families and the broader multidisciplinary team rely on us to formulate the right treatment plans based on our clinical judgment and our full understanding of the individual.
Instead of the myth which circulates according to which nurses in EHPAD are dequalified, it is in fact the opposite. My skills have never stopped growing and I have never felt more competent and professionally competent than today.
In terms of career progression, in adult social services the opportunities are there, and I feel so lucky that Brunelcare has invested in my career development over the past 25 years.
The skills and qualifications that I have acquired have allowed me to progress from nurse to head nurse, from assistant house director to house director and head of clinical excellence to my current role as director of nursing homes. rest and care.
I have had the opportunity to be a part of the lives of so many amazing people over the years and feel like I have made a positive impact.
End-of-life care in nursing homes is a good example of the incredible work home nurses do. We are privileged to be present during the last days of life of residents at the end of their lives and to ensure that these last precious moments are the best possible for residents and their families.
It is time for us adult social service nurses to stand up and shout out loud for the work we do and share the good news.
We provide care and support to some of the most vulnerable people in our society. It is important to let people know and to break these myths.
Sandra Payne is a Registered Nurse and Nursing Home Director, Brunelcare