My job

'Be courageous and stand up for what you believe is right'

After winning RCN Wales mentor of the year and taking the crown for outstanding contribution to improving patient care, you could say practice facilitator Ffion Pursglove is at the top of her game. Here is why she finds mentoring rewarding.

After winning RCN Wales mentor of the year and taking the crown for outstanding contribution to improving patient care, you could say practice facilitator Ffion Pursglove is at the top of her game. Here is why she finds mentoring rewarding.


Practice facilitator Ffion Pursglove with her RCN Wales award

What is your job?

I am a practice facilitator on an acute colorectal and urology ward in Ysbyty Gwynedd Hospital, part of Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board (BCUHB). My main role is to support newly qualified nurses and students.

Why did you become a nurse?

I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting and makes a difference to people's lives on a daily basis. In the nursing profession, you deal with many aspects of patient care and I enjoy the variety in the routine.

Where have you worked previously?

After qualifying in 2009 at Bangor University, I undertook my preceptorship in Ysbyty Gwynedd on a short-stay surgical ward, which mainly focused on general surgery and orthopaedics. After two years, the ward was adapted and became a day unit focusing on elective surgery in a variety of specialties such as ear, nose and throat, urology, ophthalmology and general surgery. Having never experienced these specialties and some procedures, I was required to learn new skills and become confident applying them in practice.

This experience aided my personal development by encouraging me to discuss patients’ care with different members of the surgical team.

When I was transferred to a colorectal and surgical admission unit in 2012, I developed my skills in a different environment, particularly my ability to recognise when patients are critically ill and in need of specialist attention.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Mentoring students and guiding them through their placements. Seeing students achieve their goals is rewarding and pleasing.

I also enjoy providing bedside care and hopefully make a difference to people’s lives by always trying to be positive and provide care with a smile. Being an advocate for the patient to ensure they receive the best care gives me great satisfaction in an industry that is expanding and enriching patients’ lives every day. I take pride in the care I give and am enthusiastic in sharing knowledge with colleagues to promote the delivery of compassionate, harm-free care.

What makes a good nurse leader?

A good leader is enthusiastic about their work. People respond more openly to someone who shows passion and dedication. Leaders need to be able to be a source of inspiration, and to be a motivator towards excellence in patient care. Good leaders will not be afraid to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in.

What inspires you?

It amazes me the way nurses deal with the pressure of daily challenges by maintaining high standards of compassionate care, executed in a professional manor. Working alongside dedicated staff who ensure these standards are maintained and delivered is humbling and rewarding. Never give up. 

What achievement makes you most proud?

In November 2016, I had the honour of being named the Royal College of Nursing Wales mentor of the year. It was a privilege to be nominated for my contribution to training. I was also awarded BCUHB's achievement award for most outstanding contribution to improving the life of patients, after a patient nominated me.  

What advice would you like to pass on to students and junior staff?

Nursing is a challenging profession and plays a vital role in healthcare. Be courageous, stand up for what you believe is right and always remember you are accountable for your actions. Don’t underestimate your healthcare support workers – learn from them.

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