We believe it’s important for our nurses and care workers to understand what goes on behind the scenes in TCS and how each individual role is vital to maintaining the best support for our clients.
This month we spoke to one of our Regional Clinical Leads and asked what life was like working for TCS. Here’s his story:
For those of you who do not know, a Regional Clinical Lead helps support and manage a number of care packages. In my case I have eight. These packages are a mixture of nurse-led and Healthcare Assistant case loads. My career in nursing is very broad starting with a stint in adult emergency admissions. From then I ventured into Paediatric Intensive Care and spent five years as a PICU nurses. I then moved onto Adult Intensive Care and during this time, I joined Thornbury Community Services as a community nurse. The opportunity appeared for a nurse to join the team as a Regional Clinical Lead working across the Central Region and I felt confident that this was the perfect next step in my nursing career.
My day usually starts very early, usually 06:30 courtesy of my two children aged five and two. I’ll then head downstairs and put the coffee machine on - I couldn’t get by without a nice cup of coffee first thing in the morning. Whilst I’m waiting for my caffeine fix, I check the handover email we receive from the night staff. From then it’s navigating my way through the chaos that is breakfast time and the school run. My Blackberry rings whilst at the school gate; it’s one of my fellow Regional Clinical Leads from the London and South East team with a question about one of her clients ( I was the nurse oncall the previous night and took a call about this particular client). One of the great things about all of the Regional Clinical Leads, nationwide, is that we all work with each other and for each other. I know that if I had a query or needed a second opinion, I could rely on them.
After I’ve dropped my daughter off, I run back to my car to dial into the weekly central team conference call. We go through all of the packages and highlight any issues or concerns that have happened or could arise over the coming days.
My first client visit is an hour’s drive away and as I set off, I switch on the radio to commence by daily guilty pleasure of singing in the car. Today it’s Biffy Clyro (‘Mon the Biff – for my fellow fans!). When I arrive at the client’s house I sit and have a chat with the client’s wife. Due to the nature of the client’s condition he is non-verbal and communicates only through the movement of his legs. We talk about her husband and how she is coping with his illness. I can tell that she is getting upset and struggling with the day to day pressure that she is under. It’s hard to know what to say sometimes, whatever I say will be completely inadequate, however just being there and listening is better than not being there at all and that’s part of my role. We talk about the package and any issues that both her and her husband have, all of which are fairly minor issues that just need a quick email reminder to staff working within the package. On my way out of the house I stop and have a chat with the staff that are there and offer them any help and guidance that they need. One difficulty for the team is communication and so I guide them through some of the recommended methods that have been put into place. I take a big pile of paper work to audit when I get home and off I go. It’s imperative that the Regional Clinical Leads go through all client notes to ensure that the agreed care is being delivered.
By the time I leave it’s getting near lunchtime and the hunger kicks in. Just as I begin to enjoy my sandwich my manager calls me to discuss a potential new client. Being flexible with your diary (and eating patterns) is a big requirement and a major challenge for a Regional Clinical Lead. The potential client in question requires end of life care and wishes to spend her final days at home with her family rather than in hospital. I’m very proud to work for a company that can offer this kind of service and make a real difference to people’s lives. The assessment needs to be done tomorrow so any admin work can wait for another day whilst I prepare all requirements for our new client.
I then head on home, my plan for the afternoon is take a look at some if my HCA packages and see when the competencies are due to expire. I enjoy doing competencies with workers as teaching and imparting knowledge is a great passion of mine. It ultimately improves the quality of the client’s life and betters the carer’s knowledge base.
It’s now getting near five o’clock in the afternoon, I know I should switch off my laptop but I’m stuck in the middle of doing some of the competencies. So I’ll plough on for a little bit more. My stomach reminds me that it’s time to eat again so I take a short break for tea and return to navigating my way through the madness that is bath and bedtime routine for my darling children. As I’m still on call I still have to field any clinical calls that come my way. So my phone is with me at all times.
I really enjoy my role as a Regional Clinical Lead; it’s a cliché in nursing that no two days are ever the same but it’s definitely the case for me. The best part is having the opportunity to witness the difference you make to the lives of individuals and their families and I can’t put into words how great that feeling is.