A Day in the Life of…Rachel Bermingham

Staff Nurse, Children’s Heart Centre, CHI at Crumlin

I get up at 6.10am to leave the house by car at 6.35am to get to work for 07.10am to ensure I get parking. On weekends I get to have a slight lie in and get up at 6.20am, leaving the house at 6.50am as there is no traffic and there is always staff parking available at the weekends.

At 7.25am I go onto the ward and check my allocations for the day. Then between 7.30 – 8.00am I get handover from the night staff. During this handover I take notes on what needs to be done with my patients first thing in the morning and I prioritise each task. After handover I check on each patient, performing safety checks at the bedside.

There is a generalized routine on the ward of 50-100 tasks that need to be performed each morning, such as vital signs, feeds, medication administration, hygiene needs, checking of drains. However while making my way through these usual tasks for each patient, there can be more crucial tasks with tighter time constraints that take priority, for example, preparing a patient for the Cath Lab or theatre, looking after patients that may show signs of deterioration, being called to arrests and looking after admissions and transfers to the PICU.

The cliche that every day is different is especially true for nursing and it’s generally what I like about nursing. In the CHC (Children’s Heart Centre) my favourite thing is seeing how well the children are doing months down the line when they attend the hospital for follow-up checks. We meet babies who are very sick and seeing them months or years later living a normal life because of the care and treatment they received with us is very rewarding.

Unfortunately treatment and intervention is not always an option or always successful for some of our patients. When it is a case that there are no more treatment options available for a child, it can be incredibly challenging at an emotional level. We form relationships with these children and their families and therefore we go through the highs and the tragic lows with them.

My proudest achievement since I join Crumin is when I passed in Extra Cardiac Foundation Course in January 2019.

In order to relax and unwind I can reflect on my work days with my husband who is also a nurse and there is that extra level of understanding and comprehension that you cannot get from your non-medical friends and family. My husband and I enjoy going on nature walks with our dog and I have recently taken up Pilates and yoga. I also like hanging out with friends and family, going to the cinema and sun holidays. All of this helps to maintain a healthy mind and body.

My main motivation in nursing is self-improvement. It was hammered into us in college that nursing is a profession whereby continuous professional development is required. I am never happy being stationary and am always looking for my next challenge, whether it is learning a new drug therapy or partaking in an official course

My colleagues In CHC are amazing. There is always a good laugh to be had in the break room or at the change of shifts.