First three nurses appointed to new role as Surgical Care Practitioners
Three experienced nurses have joined the General Surgery Theatres Department at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital as Surgical Care Practitioners, a new ground-breaking role which assists surgeons and boosts the capacity of theatre teams.
Zheila Mago, Dolly Dowsett and Joana Fuentes all had experience as theatre nurses or similar roles and will now undertake a two year postgraduate MSc course with Anglia Ruskin University, plus supervised training. This will enable them to undertake a number of activities, such as setting up the theatre, assisting with operations, seeing patients post-surgery and carrying out education and research activities.
Consultant Surgeon Richard Wharton, said: “The Royal College of Surgeons has encouraged hospitals to set up these new roles as part of an extended surgical team and we are delighted to welcome such experienced nurses as the first cohort of Surgical Care Practitioners. In terms of the workforce, we will be able to retain experienced nurses who can develop their careers with us and for patients we will be able to offer quicker initial appointments, and follow up appointments after their surgery. Nationally the NHS is seeing fewer junior doctors staying in training and it is vital that we fill this skills gap with other talented professionals.”
Zheila Mago has been with NNUH for 17 years in the Theatres Department. She said: “Transitioning to our new role has been challenging. Even if you have worked in theatres before, this is a more senior post with extra responsibilities.”
Dolly Dowsett, who moved to NNUH from Lincoln to take up the post, said: “We want to provide the best care for our patients and this new role allows us to develop a wide range of skills.”
Joana Fuentes previously worked in the orthopaedics department at NNUH. She said: “We are very fortunate to be working with colleagues who are supportive and driven towards improving the service provision for our patients. This is indeed an exciting journey for us all.”