60 seconds with…ADoN Paul Smith | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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60 seconds with…ADoN Paul Smith

In the lead up to International Nurses Day, we caught up with Paul Smith, the new associate director of nursing (ADoN) for the medicine division at Newham Hospital to hear how he’s getting on four weeks into the role.

Tell us a bit about yourself and where you’ve come from

“I’ve been a nurse for 23 years, which feels crazy to think about! I’ve worked in lots of different places – I was in Australia for three years, at The Royal London for a while, and 10 years ago, I was the matron in A&E at Newham Hospital. Most recently, I was at Imperial College Healthcare Trust, where I was the lead nurse for urgent and emergency care.

What does being the ADoN for the medicine division involve?

“Being the ADoN means that I’m responsible for all of the nurses in the medicine division, which includes our ED and theatre departments. Within that, I directly line manage two senior nurses and five matrons.

“It’s my job to give these nurses the support they need to deliver high-quality care, and to provide them the tools needed to tackle problems that may arise. It’s also my role to advocate for them and their needs. Even though the role is mainly managerial, I’m out on the wards a lot and I’m hoping to do some clinical time too.

So you’ve worked here before! What brought you back?

“The main reason I came back was the people – both staff and patients. I loved the family feel in the hospital when I worked here before and it’s fantastic to see that this is still the case. In fact, the atmosphere on the wards and across the hospital has really improved, and it feels like a very tight-knit team. There’s also been some great improvements to the hospital estates – the cycling facilities, changing rooms and wellbeing hub in particular are amazing! I also think the hospital and staff punches above its weight in terms of the services and care it provides, which is something I’m proud to be part of and aim to continue.

“I also love working with the people of Newham. It’s one of the most diverse and deprived boroughs in the country, which makes it a fascinating place to work. You meet people from all walks of life working at this hospital and you get to see some fascinating patients and illnesses you don’t see anywhere else.

May 12 marks International Nurses Day – what do you love about being a nurse?

“I love the feeling of knowing that we make a difference to people’s lives, a feeling which is even more pronounced working in Newham, where many people need our help. I love working in a job where I get to look after and care for strangers and make things better for them – it’s nice to know we make a difference.

“And, it’s fantastic working with other nurses. Nurses tend to not only be incredibly caring and compassionate, but also great fun.  I think you have to have a sense of humour to be a nurse and it can often help when treating patients or when we’ve had a tough day. It’s an amazing profession that I’m proud to be part of. And on International Nurses Day, I’d like to say thank you to all of the nurses I work with for their incredible hard work.”

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