I've worked as a nurse at Leuchie House since I qualified in 2007. The job appealed to me at the time because it seemed so interesting and varied. I liked the idea of being able to really get to know the people I was caring for and playing an important part in ensuring they got the essential breaks they needed.
At Leuchie, the focus is on providing a nurse-led, person-centred, fully integrated health and social care service for people living with MS and other long term conditions. As a Leuchie nurse, this means that we are involved in assessing, planning, implementing and evaluating personalised care for each of our guests, covering their health, emotional, social and psychological needs. This involves effectively managing our guests' symptoms, preventing complications, and focusing on their wellbeing. As a result we work in partnership with our guests to help them identify and achieve their goals for their respite break.
Team working is a vital part of this. With our nurse-led service, my nursing colleagues and I have responsibility for decision-making and for the management of Leuchie's team of care assistants and senior care assistants, working together to provide the best possible care for the guests. We also work closely with Leuchie's physiotherapy team, the guest engagement team, the catering team...everyone involved in all that goes into ensuring each guest has the best possible break.
This is one of the things I like most about Leuchie. It really is like being part of a family.
I also love being able to spend so much time one-to-one with guests, getting to know each of them individually, their backgrounds and their stories. Many of our guests come back to Leuchie regularly, so it's great to be able to continue the relationship we've built with them.
In 2013, I was promoted to Charge Nurse at Leuchie. On a day-to-day basis this involves managing the care team, doing the med rounds, working on guests' care plans, and helping with personal care. An important part of our care at Leuchie involves identifying potential medical issues before they become a problem and ensuring our guests get the preventative care they need, while they’re with us and after they’ve gone home. This means we are in touch regularly with GPs, district nurses and a range of other health and social care professionals in the community.
There are many opportunities to attend training courses and take part in in-house training at Leuchie to support our ongoing learning and development. In addition, the organisational and management skills I’ve developed while I’ve been here will also be important for my long term career development. In 2019, I was promoted again to Head of Care. I couldn't ask for a better team of colleagues who have supported me to grow and develop within the role. I think it also speaks volumes that Leuchie promotes from within its existing staff base.
Its been quite a challenge adjusting to my new responsibilities in the midst of the Covid-pandemic, but also a great chance to make an impact on people's lives. We transitioned to supporting the NHS during the first lockdown and have had to adapt to a number of changes with regards to infection control, but the team have pulled together to keep everyone safe and to keep Leuchie doing what it does best - caring.
Where would I like to be in five years time? Hopefully still at Leuchie House!
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