17/03/2021 | Press releases

ESNEFT’s first advanced critical care practitioner appointed

The first member of staff at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) to become an advanced critical care practitioner has spoken of her pride at achieving the qualification and the satisfaction she gets from caring for patients.

Nia Fortuna

Nia Fortuna, who works in the critical care unit (CCU) at Ipswich Hospital, was appointed to the role after completing a two-year course at the University of Warwick while continuing to work full time caring for seriously ill patients, including those with Coronavirus (COVID-19).

She is now able to complete many of the duties traditionally carried out by doctors, including admitting and discharging patients, prescribing medication and performing procedures such as inserting complex lines.

“I was keen to progress my career but wanted to continue providing direct patient care, so this felt like the ideal opportunity,” said Nia, who has spent the past 15 years working in nursing roles in the CCU, including 13 years as an intensive care unit sister at Colchester Hospital.

“Completing the course while also working was challenging at times, especially when the COVID-19 pandemic began, but I’m so pleased I did it and am now able to offer advanced care and support my medical colleagues.

“I love a challenge and am enjoying the job so far. It is hard work, but exactly what I trained to do. A lot of our patients are so unwell that they are not able to communicate when they are brought onto the unit, so we have to fact find so that we can diagnose their condition. I particularly enjoy that element of the job, and ordering tests and scans so that we can start treatment as quickly as possible.

“It is immensely rewarding to admit a very sick patient but see significant improvements just a few hours later, all because you have managed to find out what is wrong and provide the care and treatment they need to take the first steps on the road to recovery.

“It is very much a team effort. I work closely with our doctors to diagnose patients and set out a treatment plan, then will liaise with nursing colleagues to help move that treatment forward. I think it really helps that I spent so long at the bedside as a nurse as it gives me insight from both sides of the fence.”

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