Meet our NUMs: Simone from Recovery!

Meet Simone from our Recovery ward, Simone tells us about her year abroad and how she loves working alongside her caring, passionate colleagues.

What makes your ward and the patients you care for unique from other wards?

The Recovery room is unique as we care for a broad range of patients ranging from newborns to adolescents across all surgical specialities. These patients are vulnerable post sedation and critical thinking is essential to help identify any post op complications. Each shift is different and every day brings a new set of challenges. Recovery is a very fast paced environment where nursing staff care for one patient at a time providing specialist care before transferring them to their allocated ward.

Tell us about your RCH journey. When you joined, the roles you’ve held here.

I started working at RCH 20 years ago as a Graduate nurse where I worked on the Cardiac ward for six months and then completed my rotation into Theatre. I spent a few weeks in recovery during this rotation and I instantly knew that this was the ward I wanted to end up on. After traveling overseas for a year I returned to RCH and joined the Recovery team as a junior staff member. I then completed my Post graduate studies (PICU/Recovery stream), became a Clinical Nurse Specialist and then was successful in the Associate Unit Manager role for a number of years. During this time I would often step up when my manager went on leave and it became very clear that this was the path my career would take. I have now been working as the Nurse Unit Manager in Recovery for five years.

Talk us through what a typical day looks like on Recovery.

My typical day begins with checking staffing levels and ensuring we have adequate staffing for the day ahead, I then attend the morning huddle to determine if access to post op beds and patient flow through recovery will be a problem. Once I have discussed the plan for the day with the AUM I then attend meetings, committees, work on rosters, meet with recovery staff and deal with everyday challenges that may pop up. I also work in collaboration with the anaesthetic team, surgical team and managers within the perioperative floor to ensure we provide the most up to date and relevant surgical experience to our patients.

What is the most rewarding thing about your current role?

As a Nurse Unit Manager I have the opportunity to support and encourage nursing staff within recovery to further their studies and experiences in order to provide the best possible care to our patients. To be able to assist staff attend conferences, complete post graduate degrees and their masters is always fulfilling but I have also had a number of staff participate in best practice programs and a staff member win the Dame Elisabeth scholarship last year which was very rewarding as a manager.

What is your favourite RCH memory or achievement?

My favourite memory would have to be the big move from the ‘old’ hospital to this wonderful new hospital. There was so much planning and work behind the scenes to ensure a safe and quick move for all patients, families and staff. There was even a secret passage so that patients didn’t have to go outside during their move over to their new rooms.

In five words, tell us what you love you about your work?

Working alongside passionate caring staff

If you could only take three things with you to a desert island, what would they be?

My three essentials would be champagne, chocolate and my phone.

How do you relax after a long shift?

I love walking into home after a long shift and being greeted by Bob my cavoodle who’s always so excited to see me. I also enjoy watching some reality TV in the evening when I eventually get to sit down.

Can you tell us something about yourself that your staff might be surprised to learn?

After I completed my graduate year here at RCH I decided to take a year off and travel overseas to the USA and Canada.  I spent a snow season working in a ski shop in Whistler, Canada. I loved it so much that when I returned to Australia I decided to work in retail and not return to nursing. It only took me a few months before I realised that nursing was where I wanted to be so I returned to RCH.

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