I’m Gill and I am a North West NHS 111 Senior Clinical Advisor.
From age 6, I knew I wanted to be a nurse.I remember watching my grandmother succumb to dementia which shaped my view of healthcare, and I wanted to make a difference, especially to the elderly. I had my family and later trained as a nurse in my 30s. During the past 21 years, I’ve had a varied career: working in emergency medicine, trauma orthopaedics and now NHS 111.
A year ago, I saw a job advert for the role with NHS 111. I realised I had the transferable skills and knowledge to continue to work at a band 6 level. This was important to me as the service recognised my experience and I could continue to work at a senior level.
On a normal day, I’ll take calls from patients, their families and carers. Calls can be complex, for example, a patient who is unresponsive or has suffered a heart attack. Calls can also be more straightforward too, like mums wanting advice and reassurance after their little one has fallen and banged their head.
I assess calls using a clinical decision support system also known as CDSS (a specialist computer system to help assess people over the phone). Using CDSS I’m able to give an appropriate outcome and level of care to my patients.
I enjoy working with my colleagues and the support I get from my team. Shifts pass really quickly and the role is very varied: from helping someone with a small concern to seriously ill patients needing CPR. I get great satisfaction from using my knowledge everyday and helping others.
I continue to develop as a healthcare professional. Following on from the initial three-week intensive training for NHS 111, I’m now undertaking a level 2 mental health course. I’ve cared for people with mental health conditions in my past roles, but this is the first time that I’ve received formal training on the subject matter. This course will give me more confidence when responding to calls from people needing mental health support and, more importantly, help me to deliver a better level of care.
Recently, I completed the train the trainer course for CDSS. I now assist with training new healthcare professionals on how to use CDSS. I really enjoy this part of my role and would love to become a full time trainer or perform a role that would allow me to teach others and share my knowledge.
Finally, I’m currently in the process of developing a forum for healthcare practitioners who use CDSS. This is so we can share best practice, ideas, or any concerns and learning needs we may have as a group.