Nurses’ Day: Teamwork makes the dream

12 May 2024

Joy Reid is Nurse Consultant for Older People and Frailty in NHS Fife.  She is a member of the BGS Nurse and AHP Council and also the  BGS Scottish Council.  She tweets @JoycJcr74

On this Nurses’ Day I have been reflecting on my journey as a nurse throughout my career to my current role.  I cannot imagine doing any other job and, despite all the challenges nursing and healthcare face today I would not change my path for a minute! Nursing is such a rewarding career and we must never lose sight of the responsibility we are given when families entrust their loved ones into our care at often stressful and challenging times. 

Older peoples’ care is such a specialised and exciting field of nursing to work in.  The specialist skill required is frequently underestimated and as a leader and senior clinician I actively promote older people’s care as an invigorating, challenging, dynamic and rewarding field to work in.  The collaboration required with all members of the MDT to ensure effective older people’s care cannot be overemphasized.  I have joined the BGS Nurses and AHPs Council so I can continue to share that message more widely.

Older people’s care has been my passion since I qualified in 1996.  As a child I spent many happy hours dressed in my wee nurse’s costume visiting my Gran and her friends around the village.  I cannot imagine doing anything else.  Working initially within Acute Medicine of the Elderly within Edinburgh, I moved back to Fife a couple of years later and continued to work within that area before taking up the role of the first Parkinson’s Specialist Nurse for the region.  As service grew rapidly over the coming years, so did my passion for providing high quality care for people living with complex long-term conditions.  The key to success was a collaborative approach to care with the multi-professional team who shared my passion end energy.  Our team grew and I was then given the opportunity to share my knowledge and expertise with the undergraduate nursing students by accepting a part time secondment as a Clinical Academic Fellow specialising in older people’s care.  The following two years gave me the confidence to develop my role as a nursing leader and an educator for the next generation of nurses in older people’s care.  Then my dream role landed and the rest, as they say, is history!

The Nurse Consultant for Older people and Frailty role has been without a doubt the best job I have ever had.  It gives me the best of all worlds.  I am a clinician, a senior leader, an educator, collaborator, decision maker around service and strategy to ensure we deliver effective care for older people in Fife.  We were one of the first boards in Scotland to develop an integrated Frailty at the front door service and key to effective care was ensuring we met the needs of the local population. We have evolved and developed our team to include senior decision makers through advanced nursing practice and more recently developed the Advanced Clinical Practitioner role.  A leader supports and encourages staff to grow and I have been privileged to support and witness our Frailty team’s hard work and relentless focus to develop the skill and confidence to provide specialised care for those living with frailty.  I have great pride when we are able to showcase and share the work we have done within Fife, both nationally and internationally.

Just last week I was delighted to cheer on my fantastic colleagues Louise, our Front door Frailty Team Lead and ANP, Lauren and Alison, two of our Advanced Clinical Practitioners, when they spoke at the Scotland Spring Meeting 2024. They spoke about their work within our admissions unit and our emergency department.  I was so proud to listen to them describe their journeys and their passion for their roles providing effective care for older people living with frailty.  They highlighted so clearly the importance of collaborative working with all professionals to provide person-centred care for older people. Teamwork makes the dream work, as they say, and this is never more evident than in the great work happening within Frailty in Fife.  I am excited to see the next part of the journey!

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