Sophie Sawyer, Head Nurse at Athelstan House
Sophie is a new recruit to The Trust, having started at Athelstan House on 20 April.
Part of my role as clinical lead is to liaise with the GP surgery to ensure our clients are receiving the highest standards of care. I am looking forward to implementing reflective practice for all staff and have been humbled by the high quality of person-centred care residents are receiving from staff who know so much about them and their lives.
I am also responsible for the safeguarding of those in my care. I coordinate referrals and ensure continuance of holistic care to include therapy and community teams in treatment plans.
The reason I chose to work for OSJCT is because The Trust is a not-for-profit organisation and the ethics of a care provider are very important to me. I also wanted to work for OSJCT because of the opportunities they could offer me in terms of a level of autonomy in developing the care services the home could provide by introducing new initiatives in both end of life and dementia care. The Trust also offers good continued professional development including NVQ 5 in Leadership and Management and great career progression opportunities.
One way I have made a difference as a nurse is by taking every opportunity to develop my skills. I seek out training and keep up to date on current research to ensure I am providing high quality, person-centred care in line with best practice. I am passionate about providing holistic care, catering to not only physiological needs, but also mental health, wellbeing and spiritual needs.
I chose to work in the elderly care home sector because of the feeling of pride I get at the end of a shift, knowing I have been able to be a part of making a difference for those in my care. I get to work with residents for long periods of time and get to know all about their lives, hear their stories and use this to provide person-centred care. I am in the privileged position to be able to build relationships with these individuals and their families and ensure continuity of care. I have found opportunities in this sector that I have not had in other areas of nursing and have been able to massively develop my skills. For example, I have undertaken a tissue viability link nurse course and in-depth end of life care training including the use of syringe drivers, both of which have been invaluable to my practice. I find it very rewarding to help manage pain and ensure a resident’s wishes are met, their choices are upheld and dignity preserved, including at the end of their life.
I think it is important to celebrate International Nurses Day because as a profession we have so much to celebrate and be proud of. Particularly in these unprecedented times, it is important to step back and reflect on the hard work and dedication of so many people in the profession.
My advice to anyone considering a career in nursing would be do it; you certainly won’t regret it. The opportunities and possibilities afforded to you are endless. There are so many areas that you can work in and in which you can gain invaluable experience. I wholeheartedly believe that my time as a student nurse and my time in practice since, has changed the way I see life day to day and has made me so thankful. I am 22 years old and when I started out on my nurse training I never thought I would have the confidence to do the job I am doing today. I tell myself every day how lucky I am to have had the opportunity to pursue a career as a nurse.