Andrea Regan – WT Nightingales - Andrea Regan
Western Trust Nightingales 2020 Staff Profile: Andrea Regan, Sister/Ward Manager, Ward 2, South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen
Tell us about yourself and your work (eg family, job, length of time in post)
I have been qualified as a staff nurse for 13 years, I started my career as a band 5 in ward 10 medical in the Erne hospital in Enniskillen. When the new South West Acute hospital opened I moved to Ward 2 medical. The opportunity for a Band 6 Deputy Sister arose and I embraced it. During my time as a Deputy Sister, the then ward manager Sr Norma Ross, inspired and allowed me the autonomy to lead the team when I was on duty and to implement Quality improvement work, enhancing patient care and ensuring the safety of patients and staff.
I am currently the Sister/ward manager of Ward 2 SWAH, I have been in post for 2.5 years
I am married to Ryan and we have two Children, Rosa (5) and Cal (nearly 3). Work life balance is very important, I recognise the importance of a healthy work life balance, this not only allows me to have a quality home life, it ensures I practice as an effective leader when at work.
Why did you choose this job?
I was inspired and encouraged by my sister who is also a nurse, Mairead McClintock is a Diabetes Specialist Nurse in the Western Trust. We both have very similar qualities.
I know it has been a particularly challenging couple of months for all health care workers due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. Can you explain what has changed in your role? What are the best and most challenging aspects of the job?
Throughout this pandemic, even though I felt at times very overwhelmed and scared myself, I had to remain calm, in control and professional for my team. I had to embrace change very quickly managing an increased flow of acutely ill patients and a large team of my own staff and staff some of whom had been re-deployed from other areas.
The most challenging aspects of this was providing constant direction and support for staff ensuring that they felt safe, in order to provide effective care for the patients.
I have received positive feedback from staff in relation to my leadership skills throughout, this has made all of the hard work worthwhile.
This is the Year of the Nurse/Midwife and although many plans to celebrate has been significantly curtailed due to COVID – what makes you proud to be playing your role as a nurse/midwife?
I am extremely proud to be a nurse, I always have been. I look back, especially over the past 2 years and see the progress we as nurses have made. I actively encourage others to join the nursing profession, we make such a difference to people’s lives and when you get positive feedback from patients and families this reaffirms my choice of career.
Feedback from Lead nurse “you look and act professional and I am sure you instill confidence in patients and your team”
All health care staff have risen to the challenges faced by this global pandemic. Many traditional services have had to be stopped or done in a different way either via telephone or virtual clinics. Have you experienced this in your role and how do you think this has or hasn’t worked?
We have experienced lots of changes especially because of the “no visiting” restrictions at the minute we have had to adapt and change our previous practices of communication with Family’s and chaplains. We have utilised video and phone calls for this, the nurses and patients have embraced it and I am sure this will be better utilised moving forward.
Looking forward to the next year or so – what would you like to see achieved in Health and Social Care?
I am looking forward to seeing what, developing better health services (DOH), brings. We need to move forward in Northern Ireland and hopefully we can implement better services for our patients and our communities. Also I am looking forward to celebrating the year of the Nurse, in whatever capacity we can now, and promoting nursing as a profession.
How does your work help in the overall delivery of Health and Social Care services?
My role is pivotal within the Multidisciplinary team. I am working to ensure safe and effective care for our patients. I am also continually working on Quality Improvement initiatives to improve our services for our patients.
Please also include any particular personal messages of how you, your colleagues have supported each other during this global health crisis.
I have a wonderful professional team of staff on Ward 2 SWAH, each and every member have really stepped up over these past few months, I am so proud of them all and proud to be part of the team. They have adapted very quickly to an increased workload and different ways of working. Through it all they supported each other.
What advice would you give to the public on how they can help the NHS deal with the ongoing pandemic in the months ahead?
To remain socially responsible and keep safe. Please do not forget how amazing our all healthcare staff are!
Andrea is one of 20 nurses and midwives in the Western Trust who are taking part in the Nightingale Challenge. The Nightingale Challenge was launched by Nursing Now – a programme of the Burdett Trust for Nursing, to improve health globally in collaboration with the International Council of Nursing and the World Health Organisation. The Nightingale Challenge asks for every health employer to provide leadership and development training for a group of young nurses and midwives during 2020, the International Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.