Shellie is an IBD Nurse Specialist and Researcher, and PhD Student at NIHR Nottingham Biomedical Research Centre, Gastrointestinal and Liver Disorders Theme.
What attracted you to a career in gastroenterology?
As a student nurse, I had great experiences in endoscopy, surgery, and ward nursing all in the specialism of gastroenterology. This good experience led me to start my nursing career on a busy gastroenterology ward, moving into intensive care and then into research. Gastroenterology Nursing has grown to be my passion, it’s a specialism that probably touches everyone’s life in some way, who hasn’t had a tummy bug at some point?
What advancement in gastroenterology/hepatology are you most excited about and why?
I have just started my PhD studies, and I am working on a new project to implement and evaluate an Ultrasound service for IBD patients. I am excited for this as an advancement in the management of IBD for patients as it is so much quicker, less invasive, and is safer as it doesn’t involve extra medications such as contrast agents. I hope that performing ultrasound scans will go on to be a skill that IBD nurses can learn and undertake themselves, further advancing careers and autonomous practice.
What do you enjoy most about your work?
As an IBD Specialist Nurse, I get to work with a diverse patient population, it keeps me on my toes and I get to help people take back some control over their health. My work in IBD research is what I am most passionate about, I really enjoy being on the cutting edge of the developments in care and contributing to the development of evidence to support changes in healthcare interventions.
What is the one thing you would change?
Does COVID-19 count as an answer?
One thing I wish I could change would be to digitise the NHS as much as possible. Reduce paper usage, improve communication across and between hospital trusts, and keep patients safe by using the most up to date information available at all times.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given in your career?
To find a good mentor, someone to learn from and guide you into the kind of healthcare professional you want to be.
What does being a BSG member mean to you?
Being part of the BSGNA gives me a platform for networking, getting involved in projects I am passionate about, and hopefully bringing research nursing to the forefront as a career choice for nurses working in Gastroenterology and Hepatology.
Being a BSG member allows me to join symposiums, and attend talks and educational events. Being kept up to date with current and emerging research and clinical guidelines is important, the BSG is a great way to stay in touch with all of this and network with like-minded people.