A Critical Care Consultant has spent a shift as a nurse in order to get a better understanding of their role.
Dr Jason Cupitt, who works at Blackpool Victoria Hospital, spent the day on the Intensive Care Unit performing the duties of a staff nurse.
He said: “I watched an interesting online talk by Neil Spenceley, National Patient Safety Lead for Paediatrics, in which he spent time in a variety of roles and which gave him a new understanding of specific issues and challenges in the work place in order to better understand the whole picture.
“Sometimes the way teams interact can be toxic. I’ve found that incivility is widespread in healthcare. And poor behaviours affect patient safety. I wanted to see first-hand what pressures the nurses face and the many parts of their job that the consultants don’t see.”
Jason’s shift was supported by Staff Nurse Malissa Paterson on an exceptionally challenging day with a sick, deteriorating patient.
He said: “I didn’t realise how much paperwork was involved on a daily basis. It seemed relentless. I was very humbled by how much the nurses have the doctor’s back. And how they are the eyes, the ears, the advocate of the patient. Not only are they dealing with the patients but also their families which can often be emotionally challenging. I realised that the doctors tend to parachute in, bark out orders, and leave in a cloud of smoke. The nurse is by the bedside for a solid 12 hours.
“After my experience, I am now looking at what we can do as a consultant body to better support the whole team, build their confidence and improve output. We can target recruitment and retention and good people won’t leave.”
Unit Manager for Critical Care, Lauren Snape, said: “If only every workplace had a Dr Cupitt.
“Jason is exceptionally supportive of the nursing workforce not just in our team but in the Trust. Following some members of the team watching Neil Spenceley’s video, I challenged Dr Cupitt to become a nurse for the day. In true style it took him less than a minute to accept the challenge!
“The nursing team were exceptionally responsive and welcoming to this new experience. I think it is fair to say in the lead up to his shift it lifted spirits and was a new and exciting concept. We had no real plan of how it would work or what his level of participation would be. I must say he did exceptionally well at staying focused and reminding our medical colleagues he was there as a nurse and that’s how he wanted to be seen that day.
“Dr Cupitt has demonstrated he will go above and beyond for the nursing staff. We see how committed he is and we know he genuinely wants us to have a positive workplace culture. I want to reinforce he is doing an exceptional job of this.”