A Day in the Life of… Joan Broderick

CNM3 Emergency Department, CHI at Temple Street

I get up just before 6am leave the house at 6.15am. I drive to work and am usually at my desk by 6.30am but occasionally I take public transport for which I leave the house just before 7am and get to work by 7.30am.

I generally like driving to work as I have an extra hour to prepare for or catch up on work before the working day starts.

When I get to work I check my e-mails and open Symphony to see how many patients are in Emergency Department (ED) overnight. I also meet the night staff every morning and have a general chat with them about their night and any other issues that they would like to discuss.

As you can imagine there is no fixed routine in the ED, as each day is so different but in general I start my day like this;

  • We have what is known as a ‘safety pause’ and handover at 7.45am and after that I meet with the day and night CNM2, our GP Liaison Nurse and our Clinical Education Facilitator (CEF). We discuss social work, Public Health Nurse and St Frances Clinic referrals. We also discuss education plans and any general issues the Department is experienced be they ‘overcrowding’, overnight patients, staffing levels, skill mix or equipment issues. During this time we plan our day as much as is possible in any ED.
  • I attend hospital huddle at 8.45am where patient numbers, bed, staffing, portering and infection control issues and other general hospital information is discussed. This is a good indicator of potential bed availability for the day ahead for admissions from ED.

We have developed fantastic links with the CHI at Connolly Urgent Care Centre (UCC) in Blanchardstown since the opening in July 2019. We have patients transferring in from UCC and we encourage those with minor injuries and illness to attend there if the Temple Street ED is extremely busy.

The UCC also send an admin staff member to the our ED Monday to Friday from 10.30am to 3.30pm to give information to parents regarding the UCC prior to them registering in the ED here. The parents can then decide if they would like to attend UCC or stay here.

If the parent decides it is more appropriate to go the UCC, the admin staff member then books a taxi or if they so wish the parent can drive to UCC. This has been of great benefit to the ED with over 130 patients attending the UCC from here since July. It is also a great way of communicating to the public regarding the services provided in CHI at Connolly.

Every day in my job is different and every day is a challenge. I enjoy the variety of ED but I enjoy the teamwork we have developed the most. Teamwork and a trusting relationship between all disciplines in the ED are vital to the safe care of children and I believe we work very hard to maintain these relationships.

This winter (2019/ 2020) however has been a particular challenge. We have had large numbers of sick children attending, large numbers of patients staying in ED as there are no beds available and on top of that we have been down nursing numbers.

Therefore it has turned out to be a very stressful Winter and the challenge has been to keep staff motivated, to ensure staff are looked after both physically and mentally and to provide evidence that our staffing numbers are not where they need to be.  To that end, we have managed to secure five more nursing places in ED and the challenge this year is to increase that figure further.

While I am not currently practicing as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP), my proudest achievement was becoming the first ANP in Temple Street’s ED and developing that service for the ED.

I am motivated by the desire to improve the care our sick children receive when they attend ED. I am also motivated by the team in ED who work extremely hard day in, day out with rewards like thank you and a smile from a child and family leaving the ED to return home. I am always looking at how we can improve services and patient care and this motivates me on a daily basis.

In order to keep mind and body well, I play a lot of tennis and I walk along the coast frequently. I also love cooking and travelling. In order to relax and unwind, I try separate work and my personal life by leaving work behind at the end of my day. I can unwind when I know I have completed tasks to the best of my ability on that particular day.

During the working day the children are a constant source of honesty and make me smile. The MDT (Multidisciplinary Team) comprises lots of different personalities and is a great source of laughter. When working in the ED it is really important that we find fun in what we do as unfortunately not every attendance has a happy ending.

Essentially Temple Street is full of treasures; the paintings, the people, the parlours and the undiscovered nooks and crannies. I have worked here since 1994 and still don’t know my way around.