A nurse is leading a specialist catheter training programme for health staff – thanks to the support he has had to gain professional qualifications.
This is after he completed an advanced clinical practice integrated master’s-level apprenticeship at Teesside University, passing with distinction at the start of the year.
Prince, who works in the elective care unit at the University Hospital of Hartlepool, is now qualified to transform and modernise pathways of care, enabling sharing of skills across professional boundaries.
Having the autonomy to use his expertise to shape how care is delivered, Prince was instrumental in setting up a new way of administering intravenous antibiotics to patients from their own home, three times a day – after COVID-19 restrictions made it a challenge for patients to come in to hospital.
He said: “This role involves assessing patients and having that autonomy to make decisions to improve the care we deliver.
“I have that expertise to prescribe medication and make clinical decisions.
“The apprenticeship involved a lot of training and studying – it was certainly a challenge – but it has been fantastic way to personally and professionally develop to drive forward care.
“Throughout my time at the organisation I have worked in anaesthetics and recovery, then intensive care, now I am in elective care where we continue to make improvements and innovations.
“For example, over the last few months the team have begun performing hip and knee replacement surgery as a day case procedure, in cases where it is appropriate.
“The training was successfully rolled out to nurse practitioners. Going forward, the plan is to deliver this training package to our medical colleagues.
“It has helped me progress and have that expertise to develop and deliver a quality service which will benefit our patients.”
Rebecca Johnson, advanced clinical practitioner co-ordinator, said: “Advanced practice is characterised by a high degree of autonomy including analysis of and synthesis of complex issues across a range of settings.
“Advanced clinical practitioners come from a range of backgrounds, and while predominantly the Trust has a numbers of practitioners from a nursing background, they come from a range of backgrounds such as pharmacy, physiotherapy, midwifery, para-medicine and occupational therapy.
“The aim is to continue to grow and develop this workforce to benefit the services delivered throughout the Trust to meet the needs of our patient population.”