A day in the life: community nursing

Jessica Devonport is a band 5 community nurse working in the Sutton and Merton Community Services division.

Jessica undertook her final practice placement as a student within this team and worked there as a Health Care Assistant until she received her PIN in July 2014. Since then she has worked within this division as a qualified nurse.

Jessica says: “I chose community nursing because I love the independence and autonomy that the role offers as well as the variety of challenges encountered. No two days are the same and a typical caseload can include anything from caring for patients with long-term conditions, such as diabetes or chronic wounds, to supporting patients and their families throughout end-of-life care. With more patients being treated within the community, there are always new challenges to experience and skills to learn. In my short time here I have undertaken a variety of courses that have really helped me to develop both new and existing skills.

“People sometimes think it can be daunting to work alone, but there is a fantastic amount of support available within the team for newly qualified nurses. We have the independence to manage our own caseloads with the benefit of continued support from senior staff who are always at the end of the phone if we are unsure about something or need advice. This, along with a daily team handover provides all the support you need. My team sister Linda Bond is really supportive and I know I can rely on her and the rest of the team.

“Working closely with experienced Nurse Specialists is a great opportunity for career development. They are always available to answer questions and offer help and advice. I am sure that I have chosen the right career path in community services and one day hope to become a Stoma Care Nurse Specialist.

“I find that caring for a patient within their own home is a privilege that offers a unique insight into the lives and personalities of each individual, which enables the development of a great rapport. For me that is the most rewarding aspect of the role. Some days are incredibly busy and that can be challenging, but overall it is very rewarding to work within such a strong team and to see the difference we make to our patients lives. The Royal Marsden has always been at the forefront of quality and research in nursing to ensure patients receive the very best care, and I am proud to be a part of that.”

People sometimes think it can be daunting to work alone, but there is a fantastic amount of support available within the team for newly qualified nurses

Jessica Devonport, Community Nurse, RMCS