In this week’s instalment of Meet the NUMs, Paul from Specialist Clinics tells us the most rewarding thing about his role and which famous actor would play him in a movie.
What makes your ward and the patients you care for unique from other wards?
Specialist Clinics manage all the outpatient appointments for all the medical teams of the hospital. We cover every specialty, but unlike the wards, all our patients go home at the end of the day!
Tell us about your RCH journey. When you joined, the roles you’ve held here.
I started as a graduate nurse in 2000 on the General Surgical Burns and Plastics Unit. I worked my way up, became a Clinical Nurse Specialist and an Associate Unit Manager. I then covered the role of Hospital and Nursing Manager over several years. I have also been the Nurse Unit Manager of Possum (the surgical ward) and Cockatoo (surgical and neurological). A year ago I became the manager of Specialist Clinics.
Talk us through what a typical day looks like.
For Specialist Clinics it involves about 1,200 patient presentations, 550 calls into our call centre and 200 incoming referrals from external doctors. We book about 1,000 appointments a day. This is all carried out by an amazing team of administration and nursing staff. Personally, I juggle a mix of recruitment, setting up new clinics and updating procedures, as well as constantly thinking about how we can improve our service.
What is the most rewarding thing about your current role?
Making improvements in the service we are providing families. We are currently looking at all aspects of the department from how easy it is for patients and families to contact us, how our letters and text messages look, how we can support new clinics, and, most importantly, how quickly we can get patients in to see a clinician. We have a fantastic improvement team that supports the department!
What is your favourite RCH memory or achievement?
Borrowing baby chickens from the crèche in the old hospital and letting them loose in a patient’s room! All above board of course!
I also love seeing patients who I looked after in my graduate year grow up to become amazing young adults.
In five words, tell us what you love you about your work?
Busy, complex, (but) a fantastic team!
Can you tell us something about yourself that your staff might be surprised to learn?
I love buying old things – typewriters, radios, signs. Hopefully, one day, cars.
If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be doing instead?
A LEGO professional.
If a movie was made about your life, who would play you and why?
Maybe Matt Damon. More likely Dave Hughes …