GPN Ready nurse blog – week 3

This week Jack* gets to become Dr Pimple-Popper!

We have teamed up with newly-qualified nurse Jack,*one of Health Education England’s GPN Ready Scheme nurses, to find out exactly what it is like to make the move from nursing student straight to GP nurse!

Every week, we will be hearing from Jack* and finding out about his week in General Practice. Over to you, Jack*!

*name has been changed for confidentiality purposes

How has your week been? 

Feeling nice and rested after a lovely festive break (the first Christmas off in three years!) Wow, what a busy week it has been, first week back since the Christmas and New Year holidays.

What have you mostly been doing at the Practice this week?

Due to it being the first week in January, there have been a lot of annual reviews being completed, contraception injections and contraception reviews. There have also been lots of wound checks and reviews from accidents thad patients had sustained over the festive period. Overall, a really busy but enjoyable week.

Have you done anything this week that you have never done before? How did it go?

This week I started to undertake NHS Health Checks; this is a routine screening programme for patients aged 40-74 years old, who do not have any long-term medical conditions. This is a mini-MOT, checking cholesterol level and blood pressure, risk-assessing their cardio vascular risk (risk of having a heart attack or Stroke in the next 10 years.)

I had a patient in his mid-fifties, who had a very high cardio vascular risk. Following the Health Check, I did a routine blood test and added a HbA1c (Diabetic check) before risk-assessing and starting the patient on statins. This went very well and has given me the confidence I needed in my clinical ability.

On the return of the blood test results, the patient’s HbA1c for 123mmol/mol (it should be below 42mmol/mol for non-diabetics. This meant that the health check had also diagnosed Diabetes after I requested the routine blood tests.

One important thing that you learned this week?

Trust your instincts and act on them. It is better to do too much than not enough. 

What was your favourite part of the week? Why?

This week I got to pretend to be ‘Dr Pimple-Popper!’ A patient presented with a large abscess that needed draining. I really enjoyed this…it was satisfying to see the relief on the patient’s face once it had been drained! They were started on oral antibiotics and I had to do a review the next day to ensure that the swelling and inflammation had subsided.

What was your worst part of the week? Why?

This week it was revealed that one of our nurses would be reducing her hours to one day per week and that one of the nurses was retiring. This was sad news as I felt that we all worked well as a team and complimented each other’s skills mix.

What have you done this week to relax?

Despite this week only being a 3-day week, it has definitely been a busy week. This week I had a pamper session with my close friend in readiness for our week away to Barcelona. That was lovely and then on Sunday we went for breakfast at one of my favourite Italian restaurants.