27 / 8 / 2013 4.36pm
I first heard about the Care Maker’s project from my university. The London 2012 Olympic Game Makers were an absolute inspiration to the nation and the idea that this spirit could be carried over to nursing was a brilliant idea. I felt that I could uphold the vision for Care Makers with my warm and friendly attitude and communication skills, so I applied and hoped to get a place.
Thankfully, I was successfully selected as part of the first cohort of 50 Care Makers, I firmly believe that my application to be a Care Maker is the best 100 words that I have ever written because I have gained so much from my role as a Care Maker. I have met some of the most influential people in healthcare, listened to some powerful speeches and gained knowledge by being able to access the most up-to-date information within the industry. As a Care Maker I have acted as an ambassador within my own practice, at various events and via social media; and inspired colleagues to encompass the 6Cs within everything that they do. Finally, I have had a lot of fun whilst doing it!
I have been extremely busy as a Care Maker, here are just some of the things I have been up to.
NHS Leadership Academy ASE Event, January 2013
In January I was given the opportunity to represent Care Makers and student nurses across the country and work with the NHS Leadership Academy and 50 senior nurses to develop a leadership programme for senior nurses.
Together we discussed ideas and I even fed back to a large group of nursing directors on what attributes a leader should have. It was my role as someone who works in the frontline of care, to convey the student’s perspective on the leadership programme and advise the nursing directors on issues that we felt were important.
I felt it was my role to promote the good work at the event via twitter, and even ended up teaching chief nursing officer for the south of England, Liz Redfern, how to use twitter. For my work both at the event and on twitter I have received some incredible feedback.
Florence Nightingale Foundation Annual Conference, February 2013
In February I was chosen by my university to attend the Florence Nightingale Foundation Annual Conference. At the conference, the Care Makers spent time ushering and directing delegates to plenary sessions and I also ran twitter workshops suggesting ways it might be used to promote positive practice.
I was able to attend speeches by some amazing and influential people discussing issues around the quality of patient care and patient safety. I found it fascinating to be able to understand patient care from a different perspective, and the challenges that managers and leaders face within the healthcare system. I feel that this will stand me in good stead as I progress in my career, to be able to have a wider perspective and the ability to use my knowledge to lead others.
NHS Confederation Annual Conference - June 2013
As a Care Maker I had the exciting opportunity to attend the NHS Confederation Conference. I was able to attend seminars which discussed patient safety and the process of improving quality and safety within organisations. I also attended a seminar on obesity which analysed the impact it had on both individuals and services, and how this could be tackled with individual interventions and service wide strategies. I was staggered to discover that obesity within the UK has increased to around 60 per cent of the population!
In addition to the seminars, I also spent time talking to exhibitors and promoting the Care Maker project and the 6Cs. We were able to meet Chief Nursing Officer for England, Jane Cummings, with whom we discussed some of the sessions and how useful we had found the event.
Public gallery at Prime Minister’s Question Time and tour of the House of Lords with Baroness Audrey Emerton - June 2013
Whilst attending the Florence Nightingale Foundation Annual Conference as a Care Maker in February, I had the privilege of meeting Baroness Audrey Emerton, a cross bench member and the only nurse in the House of Lords. She is an inspiring woman who has had such a broad and rich career and I was honoured to be invited by her to visit the House of Lords.
On the day of the visit we were admitted to the Houses of Parliament and guided through St. Stephen's Hall to the central lobby, before being seated in the public gallery of the House of Lords chamber. It was captivating to witness the debates that were taking place and I felt awed by the grandiose and historic setting that we were in.
Unfortunately the Prime Minister was not in attendance, however there were some particularly famous faces present including ex Labour Deputy Prime Minister, Lord John Prescott; entrepreneur and business tycoon, Lord Alan Sugar and Paralympic Gold medalist, Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson.
We also had the privilege of joining the Baroness to discuss the current NHS reforms including the proposed one year compulsory work as a healthcare assistant for nursing students.
The discussion was extremely informative and I feel that I gained a great deal of insight into the politics that surrounds NHS, and the challenges faced in the development strategy to make improvements.
Overall it was such a fascinating day that I felt absolutely honoured and privileged to be a part of it and one that will certainly remain with me throughout my career.
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