Name: Erica Thomas
Job title: ANP Paediatric Surgery
Speciality: Paediatric Surgery
Organisation: Noah's Ark Children's Hospital for Wales
What is your current role?
Currently I am employed as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner for Paediatric Surgery in a tertiary hospital in South Wales. For those interested in expanding their clinical skills to accommodate non- medical prescribing and radiology requisition in combination with clinical assessment and diagnostic skills this is the role for you.
Working alongside a team of surgeons caring for neonates, children and young people up to the age of 16 years. The role has evolved in line with changes in the legislation that govern the Advanced Practitioner role.
What was your route to this role?
This role evolved through my love of clinical contact with patients and particularly those with congenital bowel problem that have had contact with the surgical team from birth. The Welsh Assembly sponsored the MSc Advanced Practice which is a requirement for the role in Wales.
The role involves teaching of medical and nursing staff both at the bedside and in the classroom.
What prompted you to do this role?
Having been a ward sister on a paediatric surgical unit in London for 13 years, I had attended an ANP conference in the USA through my work with the RCN surgical nurses forum. I had become aware of the potential of such a career opportunity and applied when I saw the job being advertised.
What education/courses/modules have you undertaken to equip you for the role?
- BSc Nursing Practice
- MSc Advanced Practice
- Non-medical prescribing
- Basic surgical Skills course
- Non-medical radiology requester
How do you see yourself developing your skills?
Each day is a new learning experience and no two days are the same. By evaluating outcomes I can identify where my weakness can be built upon.
What is your long-term career plan?
To complete my 40 years within the NHS!
What advice would you give someone thinking about moving to work in your area of practice?
If you like patient contact, don't want to sit behind a desk and want to make a difference by developing yourself and those around you - go for it.
What do you most enjoy about this area of care?