Lucy Bridges, Clinical Support Nurse

Lucy Bridges is a Clinical Support Nurse in the International and Private Patients (IPP) Division Education team for Butterfly Ward and Caterpillar Outpatients.

I work as a Clinical Support Nurse in the International and Private Patient (IPP) Division Education Team for Butterfly Ward and Caterpillar Outpatients.

IPP cares for children and young people who do not have access to treatment in their home counties and provides an important financial contribution to the hospital, which helps the hospital treat more NHS patients. IPP sees a varied patient mix meaning that our nurses treat a wide range of conditions and patients from diverse backgrounds. 

IPP has its own Educational Team consisting of a Nurse Practice Educator and two Clinical Support Nurses. We cover all clinical areas within IPP and provide and support nurses and health care assistants throughout their time on IPP – helping them develop new skills and care for complex patients.  

When did you start working for GOSH?

I joined Butterfly Ward in the International and Private Patients (IPP) Division in 2011. 

What made you want to come and work here?

What interested me about working in IPP were the specialties: the fact that there was haematology, oncology and Bone Marrow Transplants all within one ward. I was also interested in the challenge of working with different cultures. I wanted to gain experience.

If I worked at GOSH, or another hospital, I would have to choose a specialty: within IPP we see all kinds of patients. Because of the way IPP is set up you also get to build relationships with the families. For them the hospital is also there for their supportive care, so we can see the same families for years.

How has your career progressed since you started working here? 

I joined Butterfly as a staff nurse in July 2011 (2 years post qualifying having previously worked in district general hospitals), I was fast-tracked through my competencies due to having previous experience. I then became chemotherapy competent and worked towards my band 6. In March 2013 I got my band 6 and worked on butterfly for 6 months before the opportunity arose to move into the newly formed education team that I have been part of for 2 years as a clinical support nurse. In the future I would like to progress to a band 7, hopefully within IPP division.

What qualities do you need to do your job, both personal and professional?

As a clinical support nurse I have to be a good role model for my colleagues, demonstrating best practice and willing to share my knowledge and experience to help them provide the safest, highest quality care that they are able to. On a personal level I feel that I need to be friendly, approachable, a good listener and a good teacher to ensure my colleagues are reaching their full ability within their role.

What is the best thing about your job?

I really value my role within my team: I love to teach and this role enables me to teach my colleagues whilst also remaining clinical and being able to care for the patients. This role also enables me to make small changes that hopefully benefit the ward and staff. My proudest moment at IPP was when I recently won the Staff Development Champion Award in the Annual Staff Awards.

What other benefits do you think are important when considering whether to work here?

IPP is not covered by the same teams as the NHS and so you are able to gain certain skills. For example on a normal ward there is an IV team, on IPP nurses do this work, so you are able to learn extra skills you wouldn’t normally be able to. 

The difference that this division makes for patients who might not have been able to receive the same care elsewhere means that when a patient visits who is recovering you feel really proud to have made a difference in their and their families lives. 

What are the biggest challenges of your role?

The biggest challenge in my role is ensuring that everyone gets the help and support they need to reach their goals and objectives whilst at the same time keeping myself completely up to date so I can support them to the best of my ability. 

Who would you encourage to come and work for GOSH and why?

Any nurse that has a passion for children and nursing should come and work for GOSH. Whether you are newly qualified or have a vast amount of experience there will be an area here that will benefit from you and the skills you have to offer and in return you will flourish.  

What one piece of advice would you give to someone thinking of coming to work here?

Look into the area you have decided to apply for and come for an informal visit. It’s important to make sure that you are choosing the right area, right speciality and the right team for you.