27 Sep A day in the life of – Bright Red Nurse Jill Bell
Jill Bell is one of our Bright Red Nurses, working at the Sunderland Royal Hospital. As part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month Jiill has shared ‘a day in the life of’ blog with us, below.
Overall my role as a Haematology Specialist Nurse is to provide expert nursing advice and support to patients with haematological malignancies and bleeding disorders and their carers.
I provide input to the care of the patient from diagnosis through all stages of treatment, both active and palliative.
I develop and monitor standards of care within the haematology service and to support / deliver education and training for all staff within the service.
I act as a resource to ensure that evidence based nursing is practiced throughout the haematology service.
I maintain the haematology service and standards across South Tyneside and Sunderland Haematology Service.
I work Monday to Friday 9-5pm. A typical day consists of:
9am- Accessing emails from overnight/weekend to see if there have been any urgent issues requiring prioritising. This can be from unwell admissions, triage acute oncology calls, prescriptions requiring completion, setting up of the days clinic ordering bloods, xrays, scans etc.
930 am- First patient booked in to clinic has genetic hemochromatosis and attends 3 monthly for review. He is very well and ferritin this time has gone up, therefore I co-ordinate his follow up care for venesections.
1000am – Second patient booked in to clinic has Myelodysplastic syndrome with refractory cytopenia. I see him on a regular basis as she requires her bloods to be closely monitored . As a Non-Medical Authorisation of Blood Components I prescribe a blood transfusion and have it ready for him returning the next day. He is on oral chemotherapy also, therefore as a Non-Medical prescriber I prescribe the chemotherapy ready for him.
1030am- Third patient booked in to clinic is a gentleman who is on an incremental programme for oral chemotherapy for CLL. He takes this medication daily at home, but we need to see him on a regular basis for assessing and managing tumour lysis syndrome.
1100- Emergency buzzer goes off on the day unit and this is one my patients having a blood transfusion. ? reaction to the blood or ? neutropenic fever. All hands on deck and the team work hard to stabilise. Arrange bed for admission. Hand over to medics to clerk in.
1130- Patient attends my clinic for routine bloods post chemotherapy for Leukaemia. She needs close monitoring as she has had intensive chemotherapy as an inpatient and needs supportive blood products. When her counts have recovered I liaise with the ward to get her booked back in for the next cycle. She has accidentally pulled his PICC line out, therefore I consent her and get her ready and lined up for another PICC insertion.
1200- Patient attends for bloods on a weekly basis for close monitoring from her iron deficiency anaemia. She needs regular blood transfusions and iron infusions. At present I am seeing her weekly.
1230- I have a quick bit to eat.
1300- Clinic starts again on the afternoon. A lot of my patients are still working therefore come in the afternoon after work or even first thing before work. I also have a lot of telephone clinics where patients are being looked after in the community and I liaise with district nurses about bloods etc and I co-ordinate EPO injections. The bleep and phone rings all day long as I offer advice to patients and their carer’s at home.
1400- on different days we have ward rounds, teaching, MDT meetings which gives regular access to all members of the team who are always very supportive in offering advice.
1500- young amyloid patient attends on a monthly basis after his work for review whilst on chemotherapy medication. We holistically assess all patients and follow the strict protocols at all times.
1600- I always try and make myself visible to patients and staff as I feel that this way they can approach me at any time.
I absolutely love my job and at times it doesn’t feel like a job at all. I find even the hardest days most humbling when caring for such an amazing group of patients. I always feel that patients and their carers do not chose to be in the situation they are in and if I can make it easier in any way, then I will do anything I can.