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RD&E critical care nurse achieves national first


Carole BoulangerRD&E Critical Care Nurse Practitioner Carole Boulanger, (pictured), has achieved a national first as the elected representative on the Royal College of Anaesthetists for her specialist pioneering role.


Carole is the only qualified and practising Advanced Critical Care Practitioner [ACCP] in the country. The role was piloted and developed by the Royal Devon & Exeter hospital as part of the New Ways of Working in Critical Care initiative for the Department of Health Modernisation agency. Carole’s role was developed as part of this initiative and she has since contributed to the National Competency Framework for ACCP’s, which sets out the education and training requirements for the role. Carole has been supporting other Trusts across the country in beginning training programmes based on this framework.


Now Carole has been elected to represent Advanced Critical Care Practitioners nationally on the Royal College of Anaesthetists, the professional body responsible for this speciality throughout the UK.


As an Advanced Critical Care Practitioner, Carole has been trained to perform procedures previously undertaken by medical staff, such as endotracheal intubation, invasive line insertion and solo transfer of the critically ill for tertiary care. These skills and responsibilities allow Carole to work as part of the medical rota for ITU, which is not commonplace for a nurse to have in this field.


Delighted with the College appointment, Carole said: “If the Royal Devon & Exeter had not had the foresight to support the bid for the New Ways of Working in Critical Care pilot we would not have been able to explore the possibilities and contribute to the national competency framework which is the benchmark people work to nationally.


“The Trust Board had the courage to pilot new ways of working in critical care which challenged national guidelines at the time. I have had tremendous support from the whole Intensive Care team at the RD&E, the Chief Executive Angela Pedder and both the previous and present Directors of nursing Marie Noelle-Orzel and Em Wilkinson-Brice. It’s been a huge learning curve both clinically and professionally. Career progression for experienced nurses usually goes in the direction of management or education, which takes them further away from direct patient care. I hope roles such as mine will offer a new direction for nurses, like myself, who want to keep significant patient contact.


“Involvement with the Royal College is an important recognition of the existence of the role nationally and what it can offer to patients in ITU.  Being on the College of Anaesthetists will give me a legitimate voice and vote for the next stages of this role development in terms of regulation, registration and what nursing brings to the table. For me the role will only have been successful when others can take on this role as it becomes an accepted part of the critical care workforce.”

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