I get into work, check my emails and make sure everything is ready for patients coming in for their appointments. Our team’s recently been relocated to the Zayed Centre for Research. It’s a nice space to work in and the open-plan style means you can speak to people you might not have met before.
I meet my first patient of the day at Bear Ward. I talk them through what’s going to happen during their day at GOSH before taking blood and other observations. All the patients we see are anxious, whether they’ve had a transplant, are waiting for one or are being assessed to see if it’s suitable for them. So, they’ve been through a lot. I’m their first point of contact and it’s important I make them feel welcome.
I meet another patient who will be admitted to GOSH for post-transplant surgery. Getting to know the families and having a joke or playing with the kids helps them feel more relaxed. I did a degree in Psychology, so I find it interesting to work on ways of addressing anxiety.
I do a lot of work to help patients feel comfortable around needles. One of the best things I see is where a blood test goes well with a patient who used to be distressed by them. I can spend a long time working with a patient who’s come in for a blood test, going through the equipment and giving them a sense of control over the situation.
I meet a patient who’s come to GOSH for a reassessment as they aren’t quite ready to be listed for transplant yet. After welcoming the patient, I send them for tests and organise timings for the family to meet our nursing team and a doctor in the afternoon. I’ll fit in lunch when I finish on the ward.
My role is half clinical and half administrative, so I come back to my desk to book upcoming tests and appointments for patients.
I call families the week before they visit GOSH and book their accommodation if needed. Families can find it daunting to come to hospital, so I send out welcome packs to assessment families before they visit. These include photos of GOSH and the team they will meet, as well as what might happen during their day here.
I book patients in for upcoming surgical theatre open days. I’ve worked with Practice Educator Mike Stylianou and Nurse Specialist Sarah Mead-Regan to create opportunities for patients awaiting a transplant to visit a theatre in a relaxed and fun setting. We’ve had a lot of positive feedback about how much it helps families to see these spaces and ask questions.