A day in the life – Sister Kathryn McRae

A day in the life – Sister Kathryn McRae

As part of Blood Cancer Awareness Month Kathryn McRae, Sister of Ward 33 of the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital in Newcastle (pictured second from left above) has shared ‘a day in the life’ blog with us, below. 

I usually arrive on the ward around 07.15 and start the day by checking my emails incase of any urgent messages that need prioritising.

07.30 handover from night to day staff including any triage calls taken overnight.

08.00 delegate staff to patient caseload. Discuss plans of the day. We care for patients undergoing chemotherapy for a haematology or lymphatic disorder, undergoing stem cell transplants, post chemo issues and patients receiving end of life care.

08.30 attend Directorate bed meeting with sisters off link wards and the bed management team to discuss and allocate planned admissions and daycases to available beds on the unit.

08.45 emergency triage call taken and handed over to day unit.

09.00 attend Consultant bed meeting where we are joined by the whole multidisciplinary team and discuss all of the Haematology inpatients within the Directorate and ITU.

10.00 and back on the ward speaking to a patients husband who’s wife is currently undergoing treatment on the ward. He pops into my office daily to talk about her condition and how she is his world. Sometimes I just listen as there is no questions, he just likes to talk about her. Today was a day for questions.

10.30 called to review staffing levels across unit as need to support link ward.

11.00 call from transplant team regarding acutely I’ll patient in clinic who needs admitting ASAP. Bed team informed and suddenly its like A and E with moving of patients to different areas on the ward to secure a cubicle for admission.

11.30 poorly patient arrives from clinic and whilst nursing and medical team attend to patient, his mother breaks down and she is escorted to my office for a magical cup of tea and cuddles where she explains the lead up to her sons admission.

12.15 a recently bereaved gentleman attends the ward to thank staff for the care and support given to his wife and their family whilst on the ward.

12.30 emergency buzzer goes as patient collapsed in bathroom. All team respond and patient assisted back to bed and quickly responds to intravenous fluid.

13.00 call from bed team for bed status update.

13.15 quick cuppa and sandwich and email update.

13.40 ward update with day staff and check ward running to plan.

14.00 drug rep attends ward to discuss and present information on one of the drugs we currently use.

14.30 bed team call update.

14.40 newly appointed staff nurse drops in to discuss her starting date, preceptorship and off duty.

15.00 member of day staff ask to have a chat regarding her action plan following on from her sickness review.

15.15 mandatory training levels of staff checked and updated.

15.30 Consultant on call wants to handover ward round changes he would like to implement.

15.45 staff update on ward activity and ward activity progress.

16.00 quick check of emails before I shut computer down and clock out.

This is a snapshot of a day in my role. No two days are the same and there are new challenges every day. There’s not a day goes by we don’t have a previous patient or relative drop in and this can be uplifting for staff to see the patient well and back in their normal routine as possible.

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