Chrishanti Blackwood is the Well-being Advisor at Lark Hill Village in Nottingham. She’s worked for ExtraCare for more than 10 years. Here, she tells us what her job is like…
It’s nursing as nursing should be. Advice, support, care, you name it! Our residents know I’m there, and that’s reassuring for them.
No two days are the same!
Today I had my drop-in clinic and 15 residents came along. That’s more than average; I usually get between eight and 12.
After my drop-in, I did some resident assessments. The assessments are like the little MOTs that practice nurses do. I also work with GPs and organise things like flu vaccine clinics, and run quite a few groups – chair-based exercise and weight management are both popular.
Every day is a school day. I’m always learning, whether it’s things that are changing or new medication techniques. I’m also very lucky because my Village Manager encourages me to get training. We also have regular meetings with the Level 5 Nurses and the Well-being Advisors, and the Well-being and Community Manager quick to email us with information. We’ve got good links.
And it’s not all about work! My most memorable day was probably my 13,000 foot sky dive with one of our residents. I don’t know why I volunteered because I’m not good with heights. I misheard and volunteered and couldn’t back out!
Before coming to ExtraCare, I was a nurse at a hospital. I came to Lark Hill because I wanted to work in the community. I wanted to see a different side of nursing – not just statistics, a bed and monitors.
That can make the job difficult. You build up relationships. Usually in nursing you only see a little window into people’s lives. Here, you’re seeing the whole journey. You’ve watched them make friends and become people they thought they couldn’t be. It’s really difficult having to say goodbye. That’s the hardest part of the job.
Every day is worthwhile. I don’t know who will walk into my clinic until it happens.
When I’d just started in the role, one resident came to see me and said she wasn’t feeling well. She’d been to the doctor and had been started on antibiotics. I did some tests and found they weren’t working for her. I got her back into her GP, who found those antibiotics should never have been prescribed for her. She had to go into hospital to get it sorted. She only came to me to ask if the side effects she was having were normal. If she hadn’t come to me, how poorly could she have got?
That sums up the best part of the job: working with the residents, knowing that someone has come to me and I’ve been able to help. I’ve given them my time and made a difference. It’s what all nurses want to do.
Picture: Chrissie with a resident.
Find out more about the role of Well-being Advisor!