Claire Stott – Bolton Hospice – Palliative Care

How it started, how did you get into being a TNA/NA?

My name is Claire Stott and I am a Nursing Associate at Bolton Hospice.

I have worked at Bolton Hospice from September 2014, originally in a Clinical Support Nurse role.

The opportunity arose in September 2017 to apply for the Trainee Nursing Associate programme which was still in its infancy.

I applied and got a place on the course which commenced September 2018.

The two-year foundation degree course comprised practice and theory running alongside each other.

I had a variety of placements across a variety of health care setting’s spanning across the lifespan which gave me some excellent experience to underpin knowledge acquired at university.

I graduated with a distinction and received a Chancellor’s prize for highest academic achievement, which I am extremely proud of.

I qualified and received my pin to practice as a Registered Nursing Associate in June 2020.

What do you do as a TNA/NA?

I work within and alongside a multi-disciplinary team comprising Nurses, Clinical Support Nurses, Doctors, Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapist’s, Social Workers, chaplaincy, Creative Therapist’s and Complementary Therapist’s.

We all work together to provide excellent end of life care and symptom management for people with life limiting illness.

The Hospice ethos is very much based around person centred and holistic care, caring for the person’s physical, emotional and psychological needs.

A lot of our work is also centred on supporting the families of our patients.

What are the challenges you face?

I would definitely say that qualifying at the start of the pandemic was extremely challenging as the Hospice had to adapt daily to many different pressures.

I felt my TNA training really did help me with having to adapt almost daily and most importantly the support of my wonderful colleagues.

What are the benefits of having a TNA/NA to the organisation you work for, the team you work in and the patients?

I was the first Registered Nursing Associate in post at Bolton Hospice and I feel the role has definitely added value to the team.

I have been given support, time and training to develop in my role as NA and have been able to develop the role within the team over time.

I work very closely and in support of the Registered Nursing staff.

I work within my scope of practice adhering to the NMC code of practice.

I administer regular wardex medication as prescribed.

These medicines I am trained to administer orally, intra muscularly, subcutaneously, via entral route or topically.

As part of my role I second check controlled drugs with a registered nurse but do not administer controlled drugs as this is not within my scope of practice.

I also second check IV drugs and blood products but again do not administer these as an NA.

I have had so much support and guidance from my peers regarding my transition from Clinical Support Nurse to Registered Nursing Associate and can count on that support going forwards.

I have completed my medicines management and continue to develop my skills and knowledge through training and development provided by the Hospice.

My advice, what advice would you give to anyone wanting to become a TNA/NA?

My advice to anyone wanting to train as a Nursing Associate is to take every opportunity given to you, share your knowledge and skills and be proud of your role and the added value it will bring to your organisation.