Specialist Nurse Organ Retrieval/Ventricular Assist Device Coordinator, Wythenshawe Hospital
On a typical day
No day is ever the same. I can arrive at 8.00am and attend the Transplant/Ventricular Assist Device (VAD) multidisciplinary team meeting, then I might be called to a telephone emergency involving advising paramedics or restarting a patient’s life-saving heart pump. I will assist my colleague in a Nurse-led clinic before getting the call to go out with the team retrieving a heart or lungs for a patient awaiting transplant.
My nursing journey
I originally joined the Wythenshawe Cardiac and Transplant ICU in 1994, after progressing from a Staff Nurse to Junior then Senior Sister in Cardiac ITU and wards in London hospitals. In 2014 I was inspired to take a leap of faith into the transplant world.
Being part of such a specialised, dedicated team, who travel anywhere in the UK, at any time, to assess and retrieve hearts and lungs for recipient patients is an honour. Caring for the donor patient and their family with dignity, passion and skill and ensuring the donated heart/lungs are used to their full potential is a privilege.
One way I’ve made a difference as a nurse or midwife
Nursing has taught me the skill of listening, and I’ve learned never to underestimate the power of listening to your patient and giving all of yourself to them. In those moments your patient has the opportunity to reveal their most vulnerable and fragile thoughts, their fears or their anger.
What would you say to someone considering a career in nursing & midwifery?
I knew at 16 that nursing was the career for me, and started my nurse training in 1977. On my first ever early shift, on my first ever ward, I experienced two cardiac arrests which encouraged me to specialise in Cardiac Intensive Care and Coronary Care.
I’d recommend nursing if you want to make a difference to someone’s life on a daily basis while delivering high quality patient care. It’s also a career where you can challenge yourself, build relationships with patients and healthcare teams and be inspired by them.