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A day in the shoes of Shane, Night Nurse

Shane with a patient in our ICU (Intensive Care Unit)

“Hearing that a critically ill patient has improved enough to go home after weeks of treatment is the best motivation to continue providing the best standard of care.” – Shane

In this instalment of “A day in the shoes of…” we hear what Shane has to say about his role as a Night Nurse at The Ralph…

As a full time night nurse at The Ralph, I look after our patients (both those in intensive care and general wards) from 8pm to 8am. At the beginning of each shift we do a complete handover from the day team where we read up on each patient and get progress updates on those we are already familiar with.

At 10pm all of our hospitalised patients are due a full check over. I start on these at around 9pm so that I can spend enough time with each patient. Towards the end of my shift I make sure everything is clean and tidy and then get ready for a handover back to the day team.

I enjoy being a night nurse because overnight the hospital is a quiet, relaxing environment. The lights are turned off to allow the patients to sleep and I’m able to spend more one-on-one time with the patients. I love those precious moments of laying down with patients and giving them a cuddle.

Shane with a patient in our ICU (Intensive Care Unit)

It’s great to see critically ill patients improving and getting to the point when they can go home, and it’s a shame that as night nurses we miss out on seeing those homecoming and reunion moments because most patients are discharged during the day. But hearing that a critically ill patient has improved enough to go home after weeks of treatment is the best motivation to continue providing the best standard of care.

The hardest part of working in ICU is that not all patients can be saved. The loss of a patient is always hard emotionally for the whole team, but I work with a team of helpful, fun, caring people who each understand the different emotions you go through when caring for patients.

I also feel privileged to work with a highly skilled Emergency + Critical Care (ECC) team which helps increase my knowledge and skills in emergency medicine. I am inspired and motivated by continually learning new skills and I enjoy building on my knowledge of many different areas within veterinary nursing.

To anyone looking to pursue a career in veterinary nursing, I’d say be sure to look into the many different areas of it. It doesn’t just have to stop at your basic nurse training. I’d also say never stop learning. That way you’ll be able to provide the best care to your patients.

Thank you for reading our latest blog. If you can’t wait for the next instalment of our “A day in the shoes of…” series, you can meet the rest of our team here.

Take care,

Team Ralph

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