Tuesday, 4 November 2014

What is a matron?

Who are you and what do you do?
I am Jamie Crew, Matron/Deputy Clinical Lead for the Children’s Hospital.

What do you do in your role?
Fundamentally my priority is always safe care. Digging a bit deeper my role is about providing leadership, direction and support to the nursing staff in the Children’s Hospital.  

Being on the service management team and in this role it’s about leading by example, being visible, setting out clear expectations about safe standards of care and ensuring we provide those standards to the children and families who visit us, all day, every day, and seven days a week. It’s about acknowledging the great work that’s being done and always looking for ways to improve that. Essentially, providing the care that you’d expect to receive yourself and for your own children and family.

What did you do before you were a Matron/Deputy Clinical Lead in the Children’s Hospital?
I qualified as a children’s nurse in 1998 and graduated at Nottingham University. I worked over at the City on various wards for 3 years. I came across to the Queen's Medical Centre in 2001 to work in the Children’s Emergency Department. Working closely with the teams from the wards and caring for critically ill and injured children I always felt part of the Children’s Hospital. 

Service improvement and engaging staff in change has always been a large part of my work ethic. While I hope I have a good sense of humour and am approachable, for those that have worked with me, they know that I have high standards and always strive to achieve those standards. 

When I saw the post advertised in the Children’s Hospital I thought – that sounds like a great challenge and will give me a great opportunity to make positive changes and support the already great work being done here. So in November 2013 I got the job and have really enjoyed the challenge over the last year or so.

What’s the most challenging part of your role?
One of my biggest challenges is probably the way I manage my time. Trying to prioritise what’s urgent, what’s important and out of those things, what needs doing next. I’m blessed with a great team of senior nurses in the Children’s Hospital, and there is a fantastic culture of team work and camaraderie.

What’s the most enjoyable part about your role?
It’s often what might be viewed as the little things that bring me joy at work. There’s not just a sense of enjoyment at seeing a large project being completed on time. Seeing praise and complements given to our nurses and staff in the children’s hospital is enjoyable. I’m overwhelmed by the commitment and hard work of the staff and when that’s acknowledged by families and patients it really does make me proud. 

What advice would you give to anyone wanting to progress to Matron/Deputy Clinical Lead?
You still need to be driven to provide excellent care and not lose sight of that. Our professional practice model at NUH and our values and behaviours really do provide a focus for that. You need to test your resilience, your ability to make decisions (not always popular ones), to manage your time effectively and to raise the bar even through challenging times. 

Self-belief and confidence in your ability to lead and support staff and to really understand what excellent care looks like are also key. The reality is, that becoming a Matron means that you won’t spend as much time on the shop floor as you once did, and making that decision to leave my ward manager role was one which I didn’t rush into.

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