Hi, my name is Pauline Hughes and I have been a Health Visitor based in East Dunbartonshire CHP for one year since completing the Specialist Community Public Health Nurse course in Aug 2014. As a Health Visitor I am assigned to a GP practice however I am working within a skill mixed Health Visiting team at the Kirkintilloch Health and Care Centre. I am fortunate to work in a team who complement each other with our varied range of skills and experience.
Welcome to my day!!
The working day starts at 8.30am and finishes when the cleaner’s put us out! (or at officially 4.30pm)
The working day starts at 8.30am a review of the day’s diary is carried out. The caseload management is assessed daily with the allocation of workload to support staff. Some days our workload may be clinic based and other days can be home visiting with a mix of meetings.
The family health records are organised for the days planned visits; followed by telephone calls to service users who may have left messages or made enquiries. Visits usually start about 9.30 -10am and I try to organise my visits to flow within the geographical area. The visits are variable with a mix of first visits to new parents, 6-8wk child health surveillance checks, or support visits for families who have identified needs or problems. After four of five visits I would return to the health centre to complete the appropriate paperwork and assessments.
On clinic days:
Before clinic I like to review the child’s family health record which to get an overview of previous family contacts and child assessments. Just like in any nursing role this helps to ensure the appropriate care planning is carried out with the family and child on an individual need basis. The day can finish at variable times for me usually once I’m satisfied that I have completed everything that needs to be done!
Every day is different and diary commitments can change suddenly due to the nature of the health visiting role. What can be a routine visit can develop into a family with crisis or in need of more assistance. The unpredictably of health visiting means that I can not always plan for everything that may arise and adaptability is essential in this role. Health visiting is not an emergency service however there are situations whereby health visitors need to prioritise the workload at a moment's notice; for example with child protection issues, to attend case conferences or visit families with vulnerabilities...
My short history of nursing started several years ago (1988) when I trained as a RMN, followed by a few years when I retrained as a paediatric nurse. I worked for many years at Yorkhill hospital in haematology and oncology. In 2001 whilst working in Yorkhill I studied part time with Manchester University and the RCN (distance learning) and gained a Bsc (Hons) degree in Child Health Nursing. In 2003 I began working in the community as a Special Education School Nurse where I worked for 10 years. In August 2013 I enrolled at the University West of Scotland to undertake the post graduate specialist certificate in public health nursing which I successfully completed it in August last year. What’s next?......