Meet Victoria, Night Nurse
Victoria joined National Star in 2015. As a Night Nurse she is responsible for the health and wellbeing of learners during the night, ensuring that appropriate, effective and timely health management is delivered. Victoria oversees National Star’s Shortwood and Cleeve residences.
What attracted you to National Star?
I was looking to go to an organisation where I could put my knowledge and experiences to good use, another Night Nurse recommended National Star and I was aware of the great reputation. A lot of other organisations do not have a set rota, whereas here I know my shift pattern for the future academic year, which fits in well with my family life.
What is the most challenging aspect of your role?
The need to be autonomous, which is also something I enjoy. An example is when a learner becomes unwell in the middle of the night and I have to use my knowledge and expertise to deal with it in the best way I can. I may be able to look after the learner myself or I may need to ring the GP out of hours, or an ambulance depending on the severity of the medical issue. I have to make the judgement call, which is probably the most challenging part of the role.
What are the key skills required for your role?
I need to have the ability to work on my own, think for myself and be able to make decisions on learner needs. Being a people person is important when working within such a close-knit team during the night and also regularly liaising with facilitators, physiotherapists and management. It is essential that I have good communication skills. These are not always verbal and can include the use of hand signals or pictures, this enables me to clearly communicate with learners so that key decisions can be made around their wellbeing and what they would like to do. Having the appropriate medical skills – similar to that of an emergency responder or A&E nurse – is vital, and staying organised is also important.
How does your role make a difference at National Star?
Working an 8pm – 8am shift pattern means that I have the opportunity to talk to learners once their busy days are over. The more relaxed time of day means they may take the opportunity to talk to me about their wellbeing or any issues they are having, and it’s important that there is someone to listen. On the medical side of things I ensure that medication is dispensed, charts and stock checks are completed, and that nursing related paperwork is up to date taking the pressure off the day nurses.
What training and development have you received?
The Nurse Manager has devised a training programme that covers all areas of development specific to National Star. There is also new re-validation for all nurses that was introduced by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. This entails 35 hours of CPD, including 20 hours of participatory learning. The training we receive at National Star ensures that we are able to meet this target.
What would you say to someone thinking of applying to National Star?
Get your application form in! It is a great organisation to work for, the training is excellent and you will not regret it.