I have been a member of the Royal College of Nursing ever since I qualified, but my ongoing academic studies have meant that I never really had any free time to take on an active role within the College until recently. I had been a member of the Perioperative Forum for a few years, having joined to learn more about perioperative nursing during my advanced practitioner training. As I became more involved in the perioperative care of older patients through my clinical work, I realised this was an important area of knowledge to share with others.
I decided to apply for a position on the Perioperative Forum Steering Committee as I wanted to learn more about how the College works and to meet others who feel passionately about advancing the nursing profession through shared learning, leadership and quality improvement projects. With a very medical nursing background, I am keen to learn from others with lots of perioperative nursing experience, and the Perioperative Forum Steering Committee enables me to do this whilst also sharing my perspectives.
Older people have and will continue to be the dominant users of perioperative services in the future. People living with frailty have especially complex needs and are at high risk of poor outcomes in the surgical setting. It’s important to raise awareness of how we can better meet the needs of this group of patients across all aspects of the perioperative journey, from the time of referral right through the theatre/recovery experience and into the postoperative phase. Since joining the Perioperative Forum Steering Committee I have become involved in national projects focussed on improving care for older people undergoing surgery across the whole pathway. I look forward to contributing to educational events, sharing my experience with others and raising the profile of the College in perioperative care during my term of office.
My experience of the application and interview process was really positive. I submitted the application and included details of the work I’ve been involved in over the past few years in my clinical role. I was shortlisted for interview and this was held electronically because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Being able to interview from a familiar environment made me feel more at ease, but the interview panel were all really friendly and welcoming and instantly made me feel less nervous. In my role as an advanced practitioner I work closely with a wide variety of multi-disciplinary team members, and thoroughly enjoy this. However, it was really refreshing and exciting to meet with other nurses with similar interests and passion for the profession and to hear about the work they have been doing both within the forum and their wider roles. I instantly knew that I had made the right decision to apply for a position on the steering committee, and I’m glad I was brave enough to put in an application despite my slightly different background and contribution to perioperative nursing.
I would encourage anyone working in any aspect of perioperative nursing to apply to become a Forum Committee member. We know the patient journey is improved when we all work and communicate together effectively, and its important to have representation from each area in order to be able to make this happen. I look forward to meeting you and hearing what you are passionate about during the interviews!
The deadline for applying for one of the 32 RCN Forum steering committees with vacancies is 4.30pm on 22 July 2022. Find out more and apply today.