Achievement for NNUH pleural nurse
A specialist nurse has become the first nurse in Norfolk to carry out pleural procedures and thoracic ultrasound independently.
Cheryl Hardy has been specialist pleural nurse at NNUH for the last two years and has recently been signed off to carry out procedures without the presence of a consultant or registrar.
The achievement means that patients do not necessary have to wait until a specialist Pleural Clinic in the Respiratory Investigations Unit on Gunthorpe ward to receive treatment.
Patients with pleural conditions can get a build-up of fluid around the lungs that can cause breathing problems. This can be eased with the insertion of a chest drain or pleural catheter to manage the build-up of fluid.
Cheryl said: “We are seeing four to six patients a week on a Monday afternoon clinic. However, it is better for patients and they can be seen quicker if they are x-rayed and seen by a specialist nurse and can have a procedure done on the same day.”
“I have been carrying out ultrasounds with doctors for two years and once we were given the green light, we could provide a competency for nurses.
She added that the pleural team at NNUH were looking at ways at improving services including helping some patients who have suffered a collapsed lung to be treated in an outpatients setting using a portable drain.