Clinical nurse specialist

Clare Gilmour is a clinical nurse specialist. She provides specialised care for patients, in this case specialising in immunology, while also supporting families through their child's treatment.

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Clare Gilmour: Clinical nurse specialist (audio transcript)

Clare: “Hi, how are you? How’s your week been?”

Mum: “He’s not been very well, he’s had a bit of chesty cough.”

Clare: “My name is Clare Gilmour and I’m a clinical nurse specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital and I specialise in immunology.”

Clare: “Is he coughing anything up?”

Mum: “No, he’s got a bit of a manky nose, but he hasn’t had a temperature.”

Clare: “I think the role of the clinical nurse specialist is different for every specialty, but generally it’s about supporting families and children having treatment in the local hospital so they don’t have to come to Great Ormond Street to have it or they're having it in their home so they can live as normal life as possible while being unwell.”

Clare: “We can still go ahead with his infusion today, but I’ll have a listen to his chest is that OK? Shall we go? Has he got his cream on?”

Clare: “I look after children that have a problem with their immune system and so they need a special medication called immunoglobulin.”

“Today I’m seeing a patient called Cassidy and I’ve been teaching his mum to give his infusions and I’m just gonna watch her do the infusion today and support her through it, then I’ll go to her house in two or three weeks and watch mum do it at home again.”

Mum: “Ok so I’ve got the two butterflies, two syringes and needles, sterets, a tray.”

Clare: “Do you want to start with washing your hands? Are you ok?”

Clare: “On most days I’ll see two or three children but sometimes I don’t see any at all. But I speak to about seven or eight parents. I need to make sure that I’m always communicating with people and I think it’s very important to be quite sympathetic because initially this is quite a scary process for the children and families but once they realise they can do it, it’s a much more positive experience than they first think it will be.

Clare: “So you just hold the syringe up so the air rises to the top and then just push it straight up and down, that's the way, and now we’re ready for your boy.”

Clare: “Everybody’s scared of needles and actually I don’t particularly like needles either, but we do give creams to take the pain away or spray if they need that and that works so once they have their first infusion they’re usually pretty happy.

Mum: “Good boy. You have to let Mum do it Cassidy, very good.”

Cassidy: “You will have it in your tummy”

Mum: “You want me to put it in my tummy?”

Clare: "What’s very rewarding about this job is that I get to meet families from diagnosis to either discharge and cure or until they transition to adult services when they are 18. And that’s enormously satisfying watching a child grow up and get older and turn into an adult is really really rewarding.

“I like working at Great Ormond Street. It's nice to be on the cutting edge of developments and new therapies but actually the nicest part about working at Great Ormond Street is looking after the patients and their families. That’s why I come to work.”

Clare: “How did you find it today?”

Cassidy: “Good.”

Clare: “Did it hurt?”

Cassidy: “No. Bye bye!”

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