As a young enthusiastic student nurse, I was allocated my placement- Endoscopy! I was excited at the prospect but also felt it wasn’t going to be the kind of nursing role that I had been looking forward to. On my first day I was taken on a tour of the unit and then a tour of the hospital wards. I was unsure why the ward tour was required but then it quickly became apparent when I was informed by my mentor that my main role was going to be the endoscopy porter! Over the coming weeks I collected lots of patients undergoing inpatient procedures. I was very inquisitive and asked a lot of questions about their symptoms and what test they were having done. At the time I thought I was probably annoying them but actually when I think back, it was helping to take their mind of the unpleasant procedure they were about to undergo. They were all very nervous and felt very vulnerable. As I became more confident and familiar with the procedures, I really enjoyed explaining what was involved with the procedure and tried to reassure and ease their anxiety on the journey across to the unit. As my placement came to an end, I was asked by the ward manager if I would I like to join the nurse bank and continue to be the evening porter on the unit. I agreed and continued in the role during the 3 years I was a student nurse.
3 years later I qualified as a staff nurse. I trained in all aspects in endoscopy eventually realising that ERCP was my favourite. 2 years later I was promoted to deputy endoscopy manger. I then decided I would like to perform the procedures rather than assist. I applied for a nurse endoscopist position and after training, performed 7 lists a week of upper and lower GI endoscopy for the next 5 years.
In 2012, I realised I wanted to specialise in the area I found most interesting. I was appointed as the lead hepatobiliary nurse at AUH. Today I am kept busy by a tertiary ERCP service. I look after patients who have PSC and manage a team of clinical nurse specialists involved with all aspects of HPB service provision. I also continue in the role of nurse endoscopist. Last year I was awarded clinical leader of the year at my trust.
Over the last few years, I have been involved in the development and delivery of national training programmes for nurses through to consultant level training. For the last couple of years I have been the lead nurse for national live endoscopy events. In 2017, I was appointed as chairperson for the British Society of Gastroenterology Nurse Association. I have enjoyed every minute of my endoscopy career (some more than others) but I wouldn’t change a thing.
Lead HPB Nurse BSGNA Chair person