A day in the life: ward nursing

Bethan Jones, Senior Staff Nurse, Wiltshaw Ward in Chelsea

As a senior staff nurse part of my role requires me to co-ordinate shifts. The clinical shift starts at 8am but I like to arrive early to speak with the nurse in charge of the previous shift and to look at the staffing and skill mix for the day; this helps me to plan the allocation of nurses to the patients. I need to ensure that the patients are safe and the nurses are working within their skills and capabilities.

When planning a roster we aim to have a varied skill mix of nurses during each shift to ensure patient safety, and to support and develop junior nurses within their roles. Our ward cares for all types of patients including complex surgical patients, patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy, alongside patients requiring symptom control. One of the most important parts of the day for the team is the mid-morning handover.

This is where the nurses are told about the admissions to the ward and allows them to plan and prioritise their time. We all handover to each other - both nurses and healthcare assistants discuss the inpatients and raise any concerns.

Nursing at The Royal Marsden is diverse, challenging and rewarding. No days are the same and each day brings different patients who have different health issues. A patient’s needs and condition can change quickly and as a senior staff nurse it is my responsibility to recognise and respond to my patients’ needs as they arise and escalate appropriately. As a Royal Marsden nurse I feel valued within my organisation and confident that the care I deliver is based on the very best evidence based practice.

The best thing about working here is the compassion of the nurses and healthcare professionals I work with; compassion for the patients and compassion for each other.

Bethan Jones, Senior Staff Nurse, Wiltshaw Ward in Chelsea