I moved to St Bartholomew’s Hospital or ‘Barts’ nearly 3 years ago. As a student I had no placements in cardiology or cardiothoracic, but I knew I had an interest and wanted to work in the speciality. When I realised Barts was home to the UK’s largest heart centre, providing world-class cardiovascular care for patients and research I knew it was where I wanted to be.
I originally worked in the coronary care unit, but when the pandemic hit I was asked by my managers to move to critical care. Despite the challenges I was greeted with warmth and found the intensity of nursing care required for critical care patients to be both rewarding and thrilling.
The critical care units at Barts focus on providing excellent care for cardiothoracic and cardiology patients. Similarly, we care for general surgical and medical patients who may have been transferred to us for cardiac support and those who have suffered deterioration during cancer care. During my time in critical care, I have nursed sick and intimidating patients such as those with open chests, ECMO patients and patients who have had out of hospital cardiac arrests.
What I love about my job is seeing patients come through the other side. Seeing cardiothoracic patients discharged after mere days with brands new functioning valves and vessels will never fail to amaze me. Nevertheless, seeing patients go to the ward or walk back on to the unit after long stays is so gratifying. After a year in critical care, I have been placed on the critical care course to develop my knowledge and understanding and advance my career.
What is special about Barts is that you work in a small tight-knit community in a historic building focussing on a speciality that is intellectually invigorating and completely exhilarating!