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Sr Mairead Boyd, Ward 9, Elective Surgical Ward, South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen


What motivated you to pursue a career at South West Acute Hospital?

“In 1990 I commenced my nursing training within the Western Trust. Additionally, all my clinical student nurse placements were based in the Erne Hospital in Enniskillen. My dream has always been to work close to home and continue my nursing career in the South West Acute Hospital. When the South West Acute Hospital opened I transferred from the surgical ward in the Erne Hospital to Ward 9 in the South West Acute Hospital. It was a privilege to be given the opportunity to continue my nursing career in a new state of the art hospital, which benefits both staff and the patients who enter our doors.”

Could you share a significant challenge you’ve faced in your role and how you overcame it to provide quality healthcare services?

“One challenging and life changing experience I faced during my nursing role was the Covid- 19 Pandemic. Within a small 12 hours, overnight the ward was no longer only surgical but also medical and majority covid- 19 positive patients. As nurses this was a challenging experience as we were nursing out of our usual comfort zone and were providing care for extremely ill patients. However, as nurses we used the training provided in our career and quickly adapted to this change. Our main priority was always to provide the highest standard of care to our patients and supporting family and carers as best as we possibly could.”

How do you believe your role contributes to the well-being and recovery of patients within our community?

“My role as a ward manager is to manage and support my team, to provide and maintain safe and effective patient care. We are the elective surgical ward and work extremely hard on a daily basis to ensure our patients receive their planned surgery. This is our passion to provide the best standard of pre-operative and post-operative care to enable safe and efficient surgery and recovery, promoting the health and well-being of our patients.”

Can you highlight a particular patient interaction or medical achievement that you are particularly proud of, and why?

“Over my 33 years of nursing there has been so many special and memorable interactions I have had with my patients, which I will always cherish. However, to see a patient arrive on the ward so unwell and to spend 12 hours with that patient learning everything about them as a person and providing care and comfort to them is a very privileged opportunity. Moreover, to see the same patient be discharged home healthy and happy is a very rewarding feeling. Additionally, one achievement I will always be very proud of is becoming a Ward Sister.”

How do you ensure the delivery of compassionate and effective care in your specific healthcare discipline?

“Within my specific role as a Ward Sister, I can ensure compassionate and effective care is delivered through being an active leader. It is my responsibility to lead a team of nurses who strive to deliver compassionate and effective care to the patients within the ward. I can ensure this through being actively present within the ward, communicating openly and honestly, being a role model for all other peer colleagues, maintaining a positive working environment, building a positive relationship with fellow nurses, health care assistants, AHPs, doctors, support services, administrational staff and lastly supporting positive staff morale.”

What aspect of your work do you find most rewarding, and how does it resonate with your personal values and mission?

“Within my career some aspects of my work that I find most rewarding includes observing the journey and progression of my fellow staff nurses and health care assistants within the ward. I find it rewarding to witness achievements and successes of junior nurses and health care assistants within my ward through my support and training. Furthermore, working with my surgical team to build on our elective surgical hub is a continuously rewarding aspect. This supports my values and mission to continuously improve the quality and standard of surgical care and services delivered to patients on Ward 9.”

How do you manage the demands of your job, and what strategies do you employ to ensure exceptional healthcare service delivery?

“During a shift the main way I manage the high demands of the job involves prioritising the tasks at hand. This involves me ensuring the most important tasks are completed first to ensure expectational healthcare service delivery. One example of a strategy I use for support and assistance is delegating some tasks to my fellow colleagues such as, deputy sisters where appropriate. This ensures the demands are met in a timely manner and ensures effective service delivery.”

Have there been any mentors or colleagues who have significantly influenced your practice, and in what way?

“Throughout my Ward Sister career, my Lead Nurses and Senior Management continue to influence my practice on a daily basis. These lead nurses and senior management are invaluable colleagues who provide an extremely high level of support and guidance to me on a daily basis as a ward sister. The level of dedication and continuous hard work these nurses have completed over the years is something that influences and motivates me on a daily basis to be the best possible ward sister I can be.”

What are your aspirations for the future, and how do you envision the evolution of your role within South West Acute Hospital?

“In the future I will continue to aim to build on providing an excellent service for our elective surgery patients in our community and in the South West Acute Hospital. Our patients are at the heart of what we do everyday as a nurse. Therefore, I will continue to work as hard as I can to promote Elective Surgery in the South West Acute Hospital for our patients.”

How do you believe your efforts contribute to the overall excellence and advancement of healthcare services in our local community?

“The continuous work of our Elective Overnight Stay Centre works towards effective flow of patients and surgery, therefore working towards reducing high waiting lists. This effective use of the elective overnight stay centre enables patients to receive their surgery from these long waiting lists. Therefore, this reduces demands and pressures on services within our community such as, General Practitioner surgeries and fellow Emergency Departments.”