In this week’s installment of Meet our NUMs, we chat to Michelle from Day Medical! Michelle tells us about her RCH journey and her travel aspirations.
What makes your ward and the patients you care for different from other wards?
The Day Medical Unit is a nurse-led day ambulatory service that is quite different, as it has three separate specialties that operate under the Day Medical Unit banner. These include Allergy, Day Medical Care and Haemodialysis/Apheresis. However, even with these differing specialties, the staff are like one big family who work together to provide the best possible care to our patients and their families. We provide treatment to patients who are referred from all medical specialties from across RCH and they will receive a variety of different types of procedures and treatment throughout their stay within Day Medical. Our patients range from those who are visiting the unit for a once-off treatment all the way through to our regular patients who we see either weekly, fortnightly or monthly. One thing is for sure – no day is ever the same in Day Medical!
Tell us about your RCH journey. When you joined, the roles you’ve held here.
I joined RCH in 2011, where I completed my graduate year on the Children’s Cancer Centre Ward. Soon after completing my grad year I moved to Day Cancer Care, where I spent many years caring for children and their families with cancer. I was lucky enough to become an Associate Unit Manager for this unit – and completed a few stints as Acting Nurse Unit Manager – which I really enjoyed. Earlier this year an opportunity arose to move across the hallway to Day Medical Unit and a few months later became the permanent NUM.
Talk us through what a typical day looks like.
My day usually begins with a coffee, and reviewing the schedules for each of the units within Day Medical. This allows me to determine what the demand will be throughout the day and identify any barriers or hotspots that we will need to be mindful of as the day progresses. I check in with staff as they arrive for their shift, and then head off to the RCH-wide huddle. Upon my return to the ward I update the Day Medical Huddle Board with essential information – and we hold the daily Day Medical Huddle. The remainder of the day includes attending meetings, working on redesign projects or assisting on the floor with patient care.
What is the most rewarding thing about your current role?
The most rewarding part of my role is seeing how each of the Day Medical Nurses will go out of their way to make a patient feel comfortable and at ease with the treatment or procedure they are having within the Day Medical Unit.
What is your favourite RCH memory or achievement?
My favourite memories within RCH have been when we administer the last chemotherapy treatment to our oncology patients. Having seen their journey from diagnosis through to finishing treatment, being there during the good times and the bad and seeing them walk through the doors of Day Cancer Care for the final time always filled me with so much admiration for what the patient and their family have endured.
In five words, tell us what you love you about your work?
I learn something every day
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be and why?
David Attenborough. I could listen to him telling travel tales forever and a day.
Can you tell us something about yourself that your staff might be surprised to learn?
My main aim in life is to visit each of the Lonely Planets 500 Ultimate Travelist destinations.