What do you do, Paul?

Paul is a paediatric intensive care unit research charge nurse
Colourful question marks drawn by a child

""December 2022

What is your current role?

Having been a nurse in the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) since 2007, I have relished the opportunity to grow and develop as a PICU nurse in the Trust. I have long had a passion for research and delivering research outcomes to the bedside. Being a senior research nurse on PICU has allowed me to combine my two passions - research and caring for children in intensive care. My day-to-day role involves feasibility studies (considering if we can run a study on our unit), acquiring consent from families, preparing finances and delivering studies at the bedside. In addition to this, I also continue to work clinically on PICU delivering nursing care at the bedside.

Why did you get into the role?

Since my time as a student, I have always enjoyed research and especially reviewing literature around current practice. Three years after joining PICU, I was able to undertake a research secondment within the department. I enjoyed and embraced this opportunity, eventually applying for a substantive role as research nurse on PICU.

Why do you love your job?

I really enjoy the process of gaining consent from patients and families that wish to take part in our research. We often have to explain lengthy study information sheets in a clear and succinct way. Each family and each consent is different and sometimes challenging in different ways.

I am passionate about remaining clinically in touch in my role, so the clinical nursing aspect is incredibly important to me. I see the two roles working synergistically together.

What is your proudest moment?

Recently, I was lucky enough to be awarded the Eranda Rothschild Scholarship within the Trust. The Scholarship provides funding and mentorship for a project idea supporting patient care. Being able to express my passion and drive for research engagement and delivery outside the Trust with this, has been a fantastic opportunity. I am using the funding from this to support the completion of my masters in clinical research; the dissertation output of which will aim to feed directly back into local practice on PICU and support wider learning nationally through publication. Additionally, I have been extremely lucky to work with some very talented colleagues to publish a number of articles including one in 2020 looking at children with paediatric multisystem inflammatory syndrome PIMS-TS which was published in Nature.

What would you like to increase awareness about (visible and/or hidden disabilities)?

I would encourage anyone with a disability to consider a career in nursing. It is such a diverse area and very accessible with the right adjustments.

What are the main myths and challenges?

Nursing is physically and mentally challenging, but many people with a disability know their own limits and suggested adjustments. Don't assume you know their limits, check in yes, but with the right support, anyone can thrive in the clinical space.

Why is it important to celebrate Disability History Month?

Showing the diversity of our disabled colleagues in all roles is especially important for empowering those who may not consider a role in health care, as they feel it is unachievable. Representation is especially important to our patients and service users as it helps them feel included too.

Colourful question marks drawn by a child

Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our blog pages.

Are you interested in working for us?