Danielle Blackie - Delivering innovative research alongside outstanding cardiac care | #TeamBartsHealth blogs

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Danielle Blackie - Delivering innovative research alongside outstanding cardiac care

Senior Perfusionist Dani was full of surprise when she found out she had been nominated as one of Barts Health inspiring women. Dani works in the cardiac theatres at St Barts Hospital and her main role is to run the heart and lung machine, she explained this machine takes over circulation and arrests the heart allowing the team to complete heart surgery.

An average day for Dani involves, surgeries, maintaining the service and equipment, organising staff rotas and approving annual leave. Dani emphasised the importance of being fair when managing staff members time and said fairness is her main principle.

Alongside her busy day, Dani is working on an research project. This involves completing an audit that focuses on standardising care in theatres to reduce mortality rates. Dani explained that currently there are no concrete policies to guide practice, so she is producing  a set of guidelines  looking at the best evidence.

Dani described how she was initially attracted to the job, after looking at starting a clinical cardiac PHD. The Perfusionist role had all clinical aspects she loved and she started her training at St Barts Hospital in 2009 and qualified in 2011.

During her time at Barts she has published work in the trust magazine, highlighting a drug that was incorrectly taken off the market, but is now used regularly in cardiac theatres and has many positive benefits. She has also supervised trainees in the department and takes on the leading role of organising staff rotas, Dani explained how she feels strongly about everyone having a work life balance and stated  “if you want people to work hard you have to reward them in the right way”.

Dani explained her motivation is job satisfaction, she explained that she would not feel satisfied if she could not see the positive impacts. She understands that although it can be a hard and sad job, she is reassured her team always do the best they can. Dani also stated she cares deeply for the patients and always aims for good outcomes, sharing  “you should treat patients how you’d want you and your family to be treated.”

Dani shared that in the work place she strives to give everyone a voice and opinion. She is happy to challenge and accept others views, as she feels everyone has something important to share; adding this is not just in the workplace, but the wider world too.

When thinking about the future, Dani feels we need to look at how society is constructed and rid the imbalance. She went on to state, “the world needs to challenge gender stereotypes and have equal rights for all, no one is worth any more than anybody else”.


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