My job

'Seeing patients from birth to death is a great privilege'

Bethany Buddery started work in general practice in 2017. She talks about her career to date
Bethany Buddery

Bethany Buddery started work in general practice in 2017. She talks about her career to date

Where did you start your career?

I started in general practice in August 2017 having completed by training at Kings College London in Adult Nursing in July 2017.

Why work in general practice?

Through my three years of training for qualification as an adult nurse I had a good range of placement experiences in primary, community and secondary care. This helped me to identify that my interests lie more in the variety of primary care. I had the opportunity to undertake a primary care placement and found I enjoyed seeing patients in a one-to-one clinic.

Seeing patients from birth to death is a great privilege. The role involves health promotion and prevention and the benefits involve seeing patients individually with a

...

Bethany Buddery started work in general practice in 2017. She talks about her career to date


Bethany Buddery

Where did you start your career?

I started in general practice in August 2017 having completed by training at King’s College London in Adult Nursing in July 2017.

Why work in general practice?

Through my three years of training for qualification as an adult nurse I had a good range of placement experiences in primary, community and secondary care. This helped me to identify that my interests lie more in the variety of primary care. I had the opportunity to undertake a primary care placement and found I enjoyed seeing patients in a one-to-one clinic.

Seeing patients from birth to death is a great privilege. The role involves health promotion and prevention and the benefits involve seeing patients individually with a continuity of care that I found unique to the primary care setting

What have been the main challenges?

The independent nature of the work was daunting at first. Being one to one in a room with a patient is a very different setting to the situation on the wards. However, I quickly found that in my practice I am never alone and there is always a helpful, friendly team to ask advice from.

As a newly qualified practice nurse I have found that the key is to know my limitations and to never feel afraid to ask.

What is the skill variety?

I enjoy seeing a wide variety of adults and children. We do encounter some acute patients such as those coming in for asthma reviews who may be having an acute episode so it vital to remain knowledgeable and up-to-date in acute aspects of nursing.

However, I am also able to undertake procedures as a practice nurse that I wouldn’t see in secondary care. These include cervical cytology, sexual health screening, and childhood immunisations. This is a hugely successful programme complemented by information and education for the parents.

What plans do you have for your career in the future?

I am just at the beginning of my career and my preceptor helpfully visualised the training as a pyramid.

There are a huge number of initial skills I am receiving training in, or will in the future, to ensure that I have a solid foundation in practice nursing. This includes childhood and adult immunisations and travel vaccinations, as well as complex wound dressings, compression bandaging and wound care.

Next year I hope to undertake a diploma with the support of my practice in asthma, and to specialise in that long-term condition in the practice.

There are a wide range of opportunities in practice nursing. I look forward to developing my knowledge and skills in the basics so that I can go on to specialise in my chosen long-term condition and other areas.

What opportunities are there in general practice?

There are opportunities to study at diploma, degree or masters level. It is possible to become a specialist in a long-term condition within your practice. Clinical supervision is encouraged which is hugely valuable for networking and sharing ideas and skills.

I believe the future of practice nursing involves opportunities for leadership and decision making at a national level.

How do you overcome challenges?

One of the benefits I have found working in general practice is the collaborative care and team working that benefits both health care professionals and the patients we care for.

For example, while visiting a patient at home I became concerned for their safety and wellbeing. I returned to the practice and was then accompanied by another member of the team to witness my concerns and gain consent from the family to escalate. We raised our concerns with the GP safeguarding lead for the practice who contacted the patient’s social worker. Within a few hours the social worker was in contact with the patient and their family to work through the issues I had witnessed and raised.

Want to read more?

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to primary healthcare.com
  • Bi-monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs