My job

Caring beyond the bedside

Queen’s Nurse Shorai Dzirambe on how her role has evolved.

As learning disabilities lead for a local council, I work with providers of health and social care to ensure that people with chronic conditions receive the best possible care and avoid hospital admissions where possible.

I was recently made a Queen’s Nurse, a title awarded to outstanding community nurses by the Queen’s Nursing Institute.

Around 60% of adults in the UK have a chronic condition and most have several underlying conditions. People with learning disabilities, which is often accompanied by epilepsy and mental health problems, have the additional burdens of stigma and discrimination. A nurse’s role includes raising awareness that medical conditions do not define a person and supporting people to make informed decisions about treatment.

The role does not end at the bedside. Nurses should maintain a large client support network, and try to influence health and social care policymakers and budget holders.

My role is an essential resource for home care and supported living services, care homes and their clients. I help transfer knowledge into practice, and show how to improve systems for safeguarding and protecting patients’ rights and dignity. I also mediate between professionals and organisations, and direct clients to the relevant professionals.

The role has evolved significantly over recent years – evidence-based practice is crucial, national policy developments on community-based provision continue to stimulate change in care models, and new technology means clients are more self-reliant.

My day at work I spend some days in the office, while others are spent meeting staff and health and social care providers. I also run teaching sessions and facilitate workshops with service users.

My work space My colleagues and I share a hot desk, but I can access my ‘office’ from many bases.

My work colleagues and clients I work with a wonderful team that consists of 11 professionals specialising in areas such as assistive technology, stroke and dementia care. I am the learning disability lead. We all bring different expertise to the team and respect these differences in each other.

Further information

Queen’s Nursing Institute

This article is for subscribers only