The Royal Devon & Exeter Foundation NHS Trust is at the heart of groundbreaking national developments in critical care.
Building on its successful pilot for the Department of Health testing different ways of working in this specialist field, the RD&E is now represented on the Acute Critical Care Reference Working Group.
RD&E Consultant Nurse for Critical Care Carole Boulanger, pictured right, is working alongside leading national figures including the Chair of the Intensive Care Society, the Royal College of Anaesthetists and the Intercollegiate Board for Intensive care medicine on how best to train and introduce the new role of critical care practitioners in hospitals across the country. It will see critical care nurses being trained and developing skills for tasks done in the past by medical staff such as intubation, central line insertion and transferring the critically ill to tertiary care.She praised the support and co-operation of colleagues to embrace this forthcoming change.
Carole Boulanger said: “We are looking at all the issues around regulation, registration and how to take this new role forward. As well as the benefits for patients of having this highly skilled staff role on an intensive care unit, it also means experienced critical care nurses will no longer have to make a difficult choice between pursing a career in the direction of education or management.”
Carole describes her job as the best in the hospital trust because she has the combination of hands-on critical care of patients and establishing rewarding relationships with their families, as well as a lead role in management, education and innovative service developments.
Director of Nursing and Service Improvement Marie-Noelle Orzel said: “Carole is the only nurse on this group, other members being from medical royal colleges, so this is not only a commendable achievement on a personal level for Carole but also reflects where the RD&E is on the national scene in terms of developing practice roles.”
The competency framework for this new role is expected to be published later this year.