International Nurses Day spotlight: Alyanna's journey | Latest Maternity news

International Nurses Day spotlight: Alyanna's journey

Today is international #NursesDay and we are sharing Alyanna's story about her journey to nursing at UHDB:

My name is Alyanna Medenilla Brooks, Sister, Student Nurse Liaison, and Internationally Educated Nurses Liaison based at Andrew Ward, Sir Robert Peel Community Hospital and Samuel Johnson Community Hospital.

I initially decided to become a nurse to use it as a pre-med course. In the Philippines, before you can go to medical school to become a doctor, you are required to take a four-year course. During my first placement in labour and delivery, I realised then the amount of time that nurses actually spend with their patients so decided to stay in nursing. I loved the fact that apart from the doctors, nurses are the ones that the patients and their families have primary contact with, in terms of their care and we are one of the main lines of support they have while they are in hospital. 

Nursing is important to me because I know that I am helping the patients and their families while they are at their most vulnerable. I am happy knowing that the care that I can provide to the patients and their families gives them comfort during what could be the most difficult time of their lives. Being a nurse is important to me for the fact that I know I can make a difference in the life of a new mother, or even the daughter of an elderly and dying patient. I feel it is important to provide the patients and their families the support that they need while they undergo treatment.

I also feel that one of my responsibilities as a nurse is to become the patient's advocate, fighting to do what is best for the patient, protecting their wants and interests and making sure that they and the family understand the process while they undergo their treatment. I love being the liaison to the family and translating the medical jargon into layman's terms so they are able to ask any questions that they may have. I also feel that a huge part of nursing is to educate, not only the patients and their families, but also the next generation of nurses. 

As a student liaison as well as Internationally Education Nurse (IEN) liaison, my biggest role is to support our student nurses and IENs in their training and eventually, their transition from student nurse to qualified nurse. Mainly, this entails providing nursing students with the right tools in order for them to develop into competent nurses. To me, this means providing everyone with a good learning culture, supporting them in their development and learning in whatever way they require. I also provide training sessions to the IENs in terms of their roles and responsibilities on the ward as nurses. I am the students and IENs alternative point of contact if they have any concerns about their learning or on the ward. I am also a qualified Professional Nurse Advocate and provide Restorative Clinical Sessions to all the staff on the ward where they can discuss both personal and professional issues with myself and I can help them discover ways to resolve those issues. 

I believe that nurses have a big impact on creating a healthy population and society. We do this by ensuring that the patients and their families are empowered to take action for their health and wellbeing. We can provide them with information by health teaching or education, explaining their disease and illness while at the same time educating them on how to manage these at home and ensuring that the patients and their families are signposted to the best support available for their healthcare needs. By being accessible to people, nurses  are able to support them through their health care journey every step of the way. Nurses are there to help explain the procedures that they may undertake, what it could mean for them to make adjustments to their lifestyle and their household and how to improve their quality of life. Finally, nurses don't just look at the physical health of the patient, we are always providing holistic care, taking into account everything involved in a patient's recovery whether this is physical support, medications, mental and even emotional health. 

You can see stories from nurses across the nation sharing their stories on social media by searching #NursesDay.

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