Spotlight on: Eleanor Wragg, newly-qualified nurse

Ahead of our next event to recruit newly-qualified nurses, we talked to Eleanor Wragg who joined us in September after qualifying as a nurse in July from Northampton University.

Originally, she returned to her home county of Suffolk, however she was enticed to our hospital due to our reputation for experience and career development opportunities.

She joined our Rheumatology Day Unit in the Jack Pryor Unit after successfully applying for a permanent job.

“During my training I had placements in diabetes, orthopaedics, surgery and acute medical care,” said Eleanor.

“It is really varied and when I went through the job list, I had been in all the areas on offer except rheumatology. I am very keen to develop and wanted to learn something different. There’s a lot to learn here and it is much more clinical, which I enjoy.”

After pre-employment checks were completed, Eleanor was assigned study days. As a newly-qualified nurse, she has to complete her preceptorship, during which she receives regular one-to-one contact time with her line manager and clinical colleagues and support from the Royal College of Nursing.

“I absolutely love it here,” she said. “It may sound silly, but it just doesn’t feel like work.

“Everyone has time to help and support you. They are very knowledgeable and willing to share that knowledge.”

The Rheumatology Unit runs a day clinic and an outpatients’ clinic. When on the day unit, which is open Monday to Friday, Eleanor works an 11-hour shift with up to 32 patients, all needing individual assessments to check that they are well enough to have the medication as prescribed.

Patients are canulated and are on the unit from as little as 30 minutes up to six hours. Once they have had the infusion and are declared fit, they are able to go home.

The outpatients’ unit sees between 40-60 patients in a morning session and 30-50 in the afternoon, between 8am and 6pm. Eleanor’s work involves taking emergency blood tests, giving steroid injections, supporting doctors in clinics and more problem-solving.

“This is very much a nurse-led unit which I love, and it is busy in a different way to the wards. I feel here there is very much a sense of team,” she said.

“On the wards you get your case load and that can feel quite daunting as the patients are yours to look after. Here we all work together to look after all the patients. We have a high turnover of patients coming through every day and a nice feeling of teamwork.

“I never thought I could land a job like this as a newly-qualified nurse. I am learning a huge amount, surrounded by highly talented people who want to share their knowledge and who even have time to help with admin issues and hiccups. My line manager and deputy sister give me so much of their time. They have bent over backwards to help me settle in and went into battle for me when I had pay and car parking issues.

“I am here because I gave it a shot. Rather than think I wasn’t qualified to do rheumatology, I thought this would be a great learning opportunity. That would be my advice to anyone in the same position. Try to step out of your comfort zone, you might be surprised where you end up.”

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