Hello, my name is Gordon Smith, and I am one of the first Legacy Cohort Registered Nursing Associates to qualify in 2019. I am proud to work at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust with an amazing team in the field of Acute Medicine.
I have always held a keen interest in the Health Sciences and my parents fully supported me in this from an early age. My family always promoted values such as compassion and unconditional positive regard for all and I aim to emulate these values in all aspects of my life. I studied at Dundee, Edinburgh and Manchester universities gaining degrees in Behavioural Science, Health Science and as Nursing Associate (conferred with distinction). Between lectures and endless assignments I enjoyed working as a Healthcare Assistant from 2006. In 2017 the Nursing Associate role was introduced and my Ward Manager encouraged me to apply for a training place.
My FNF Leadership Programme
I was highly fortunate to gain a place on the 2019 Leadership Programme for Registered Nursing Associates. For me the experience was life affirming, informative and one of true privilege! I soon learned that leadership is not exclusive to those in senior positions but that we are all leaders with our own individual qualities.
Learning and assessing my own personality type and leadership style has led me to value my qualities and begin to address my areas for improvement. My favourite moment was attending the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art leadership session. It was a “shoes off, hands on, physical and practical approach” towards leadership development. I aim to embody the skills and tips gleaned from this session at every opportunity to promote my impact and presence.
My FNF Leadership Programme and ‘journey’
Completing my Leadership Programme has afforded me a new sense of personal and professional confidence in all areas of my career. I am a strong proponent of the Nursing Associate role and lead in a variety of initiatives. I am actively involved in developing the role as an Ambassador with Health Education England. I have additionally promoted the development this at regional level and have contributed to various reviews including NHS Improvement. I was asked to become the Nursing Associate and Trainee Link Nurse for the ward and I lead on group and online support networks providing support, teaching and coaching for students and newly qualified staff. I was honoured to receive the Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust’s Excellence in Learner support award in 2021 and excellence reports for my commitment to learner development.
I additionally work as one of the Mental Health Link Nurses and deliver training to Nursing Colleagues of various grades in order to promote parity within healthcare for all service users. I aim to eventually top-up my qualifications to advance my career and would love to work in healthcare teaching or quality improvement.
My quality improvement project focused upon stock acquisition and availability in a busy Acute Medical setting. Levels of certain items and consumables were frequently either low or out of stock. Locating these items from different wards reduced staff contact time with patients and possibly compromising the quality of patient care. I felt that there was a need to encourage consumers to act early and to have knowledge of stock acquisition in order to maintain stock supplies. On baseline assessment only 40% of frontline staff knew how to directly contact stores for supplies. A large A1 size poster was created and displayed in the storeroom with details of whom to contact should we require any items.
The Impact of this was that just one week post intervention 80% of staff were aware of the stock ordering process should it be warranted. This process was subsequently implemented by several staff although more research is required to ascertain its direct effect upon patient care.
I would like to wholeheartedly thank Health Education England for this prestigious opportunity and to Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust for their commitment to workforce development. I will incorporate and promote my learning at every personal and professional opportunity.