Joining Sussex Partnership has been a fantastic experience. This is my first job in an acute ward. Everything, right down to my name badge, was ready for my arrival. The preceptorship – the transition from student to qualified nurse – lasts six months and acts as an adjustment period to help me find my feet, whilst checking all my competencies in a supported way. During this period I can ask for extra help and support from my mentor if there is something I need to work on.
An acute ward is a challenging environment with a wide mix of patients, including long-term conditions or short-term crises. Some people may need to be stabilised, but we also work with many patients who have a strong prospect of recovery. You need to be able to hold on to your emotions and manage stressful situations. You may have to communicate difficult news and then have to completely refocus. The closeness of the team makes a real difference because you know you can approach everyone for help and you take confidence from that.
Patient contact is my favourite part of my role. The medication round and meal times are a chance to chat, to check they understand why they need to take their medication and to check physical wellbeing. Having a chat about the day-to-day goes a long way to building the right care plan. You also get to see the other side of the person, not the patient. Small things, like putting a smile on their face, or watching television together, make a big difference and remind someone of the person they are.
I love the team here, they’re very dedicated to what they do. It’s the first time I’ve gone somewhere where the people are like a tight family. The help and support is automatic. Our Ward Manager has an open-door policy and always knows what is going on.
I love that I don’t know what’s going to happen when I wake up in the morning and at the end of the day I feel proud and confident to be part of this caring team. We provide the professional insight and support that people can’t get elsewhere. People and their families know they can trust us to tell them the truth, the pros and the cons, the good and the bad.