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A website for young nurses and the young at heart in Aotearoa

Shift Coordinator

Erin Baker

I graduated from UCOL Palmerston North 2006. 1 year NETP Programme completed through CMDHB. My previous roles include; Orthopaedics + Plastic Surgery, acute medical, stroke ward, research nursing, practice nursing, physician’s assistant, fill in Nurse Educator. I have also been resource nurse for the following: Pain resource nurse, wound resource nurse, stroke resource nurse (current). I am currently a Level 3 Nurse on a 26 bedded Acute Medical Ward with an incorporated 10 bedded stroke unit + 8 dedicated renal beds.

A brief summary of my role and what it entails:

To care for a patient load of 5-6 patients per shift plus co-ordinate the ward. Coordinating involves carry the cell phone and pager to facilitate discharge and admission process, follow doctors on ward rounds to get updates on patients, allocate patients to staff for best care depending on the available nurses’ level of experience, problem solve, help the other nurses with their workloads, assist and advise nurses that have procedures they are unfamiliar with i.e. commencing infusions, dressings, inserting NGTs, insert cannulas and taking bloods, changing CVL dressings. The coordinator will also advocate on behalf of the nurses. I also conduct in-service teaching sessions.

How I came to be in the role:

I completed the NETP programme, continued on to obtain a postgraduate certificate (advanced clinical reasoning and diagnostic skills + health sciences papers), stayed proactive, kept up with professional development and attended as many study days as possible, showed leadership qualities + hard work and diligence. I kept up to date with evidenced based practice. I tried various different nursing roles to increase networking + gain experience. I gained feedback from peers and managers on how I could improve, and made an effort to take this onboard. I maintained my PDRP through the DHB and did the work required, plus took on extra responsibility to become a level 3 nurse.

Advice to someone interested in a role like mine/the skills, experience, and key attributes required for the role;

To become a senior nurse you must give excellent nursing care to your patients - this is first and foremost the most important aspect of our jobs - to ensure that the care we deliver is at a standard that we would be happy for our own family members to receive. Recognition and promotion comes through being excellent and diligent in the mundane tasks of nursing wherever your current role may be, you must be hardworking, able to take initiative, must be proactive and have great problem solving skills, natural leadership skills, friendly, approachable, trustworthy, positive, willing to learn, a good teacher, great communication skills, able to cope with stressful situations and have the ability to not take things personally and separate work from home life. As a senior nurse, we must possess a confidence in our practice, our reasoning and decision making skills. It is important to be able to stand up for yourself and be bold in advocacy for your patients and the staff members you are leading around you.