06 May 2020

From weight loss support to ward duties

A Registered General Nurse who has been qualified for 32 years, Janine has spent most of her career working in cosmetic surgery. She has 20 years of experience in this field, 10 of which have been spent with The Hospital Group.

Previously the National Nurse Training Manager for the business, Janine had responsibility for managing all its nurses and ensuring that they received the required training and development.

In 2016, she returned to University to complete the V300 prescribing course. This meant that she was able to offer non-surgical treatment clinics across the South West and East of the UK for the medical aesthetics area of the business.

In 2018, Janine changed direction within the company. “I retrained to become a Bariatric Consultant Practitioner for weight loss surgery, carrying out suitability consultations for bariatric (weight loss) patients on behalf of our surgeons, as well as conducting aftercare clinics for weight loss patients.”

“My role covered the South East and South West of England,” she adds. “I helped colleagues in other clinics with patient gastric band fills, cosmetic surgery aftercare and non-surgical requirements. I covered quite a lot of ground in this role and especially loved the travelling aspect.”

Just a few weeks ago, though, Janine’s working life changed dramatically due to COVID-19, when she was asked to begin a new, temporary role at The Hospital Group’s state of the art Burcot Hall Hospital. With its private healthcare business on hold and a new partnership with the NHS agreed, Janine’s nursing experience couldn’t be ignored. As an RGN, she has now joined the Ward team.

“I dusted down my nurse’s uniform and went back to my roots!” she explains. “I saw this as a chance to help at a time of crisis, and as an opportunity to keep developing professionally. It’s been very humbling to be back on a ward and help those nurse colleagues who are doing a different kind of nursing to what I’ve been used to. I’ve known many people in the team for a long time, and the sisters and nurses have been superb, welcoming colleagues like me who want to help with our NHS patients in a practical way.”

It’s been a learning curve for Janine. “I’m very used to working autonomously and enjoy my own company, as I drive long distances every day. Now I’m part of a close-knit team which needs to work together to benefit our patients.”

She says of being given the opportunity to work on the ward, “It’s good to know that I’m still able to give the kind of care that’s required in these circumstances. I enjoy giving these patients the one to one attention that they deserve, just as I did with my weight loss patients in our clinics previously.”

And Janine has certainly been getting to know her new patients, some of whom are elderly and who welcome her personal touch. “One lady is going through the grieving process. After having been admitted to hospital for a chest infection and then contracting COVID-19, she’s on the mend now, but very sadly her husband passed away while she was in hospital,” she says. “I spent time just talking to her about her husband and their long marriage together. Even though we need to wear facemasks and our patients can’t see that we’re smiling, I think it’s important to do all you can to show empathy. Holding a patient’s hand with gloves on isn’t quite the same, but it helps people to know that you are there for them.”

Although  looking forward to resuming her usual role in due course, for the moment Janine is going to continue to assist on the wards at Burcot Hall ,“I do miss the travelling I did previously as I loved being out and about, meeting different team members and patients. I can’t wait to get back on the road when that’s allowed. Burcot Hall is only 40 minutes from home, so it’s not the same! But I’ll keep doing this for the time being to help my colleagues and our NHS patients.”



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