Hello my name is Nicoleand I am a peri-operative staff nurse in main theatres
I chose to study nursing at university because I was interested in care and I like being around and interacting with different people. I haven’t looked back since. I qualified in 2008 following completion of an adult nursing course at Hull University. After qualifying I worked in the day surgery unit in Hull for 12 months before applying to Airedale main theatres in 2010. This was because I wanted to be closer to home (Leeds).
My job consists of four different roles within main theatres. The first role I fulfil is ‘scrub’. When scrubbing, our role is to ‘scrub up’ with a gown, mask and gloves and set the instrument trolley up and play a direct role in patient care at the operating table. When circulating in theatre our role is to keep our eyes and ears open to enable us to support the surgical and anaesthetic team in providing the highest level of safe care to each and every patient undergoing a procedure or operation. This entails team working, working under pressure, good communication, good collaborative working and situational awareness.
As part of my scrub role I have also extended my role to incorporate ‘assisting’ during surgery. I completed a post registration course a number of years ago to enable me to take on this additional responsibility. I am able to directly assist the surgeon during surgical procedures, a role that has traditionally been carried out by doctors in the past.
I have also had the opportunity to train as ‘anaesthetic assistant’ over the past 18 months. I work closely with the anaesthetists for this role, enabling procedures and surgery to take place safely and with minimal pain or discomfort ensuring a safe environment for anaesthesia. This role also requires the same core skills as the scrub role along with close observation and monitoring of the patients’ condition, identifying any changes and acting on them. I am also part of the hospital’s resuscitation team and provide airway support in the resus room in ED.
My final role is as a recovery nurse, caring for patients in the post anaesthetic care unit (PACU). This involves safely managing patients following their surgery. The skills I require for this role encompass safely managing a patients’ airway, being able to assess patients quickly and identifying any deterioration in condition and acting on it, along with good pain management skills.
I absolutely love my job – even though it is hard work it is very rewarding. Whilst working at Airedale I have had the opportunity and funding to enable me to progress within my role and complete different post registration courses to build on my skills and challenge myself. I get to work within all surgical specialities offering me variety and change alongside an umbrella of knowledge. This gives diversity within my role and makes every day different.
Outside work I enjoy fitness, the outdoors and I have a busy family and social life.