Clinical editor Eileen Shepherd brings to Nursing Times her extensive experience of being a nurse in the NHS in a variety of specialties and roles.
Eileen trained at Charing Cross Hospital in London, completing a four-year diploma in nursing. She worked as a staff nurse in cardiothoracic nursing and was rapidly promoted to ward sister in general surgery. Since then she has worked in a variety of senior clinical roles and has also worked as a bank and agency nurse during her career.
Using her nursing and clinical experience, Eileen was invited to work as a consultant on two major national projects with the Audit Commission, one on nursing itself, the other on the care of the older person.
Eileen has worked as a freelance writer and editor for 20 years, using her invaluable nursing knowledge to communicate with a specialist audience.
She joined the Nursing Times team in 2003 as supplements editor and is now clinical editor, responsible for planning and commissioning the clinical content. As well as using her own knowledge and experience, she works closely with a team of clinical advisers and with professional organisations to ensure that the clinical content is what nurses need, topical and up-to-date.
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'Why is respiratory rate so often ignored?'Subscription
Respiratory rate (RR) is a vital sign and even a change of as little as three to five breathes a minute can be an early indication of deterioration.
When I was asked to undertake mouthcare at the start of my nurse training back in 1981 I was taught to put on a pair of gloves, wrap a piece of gauze soaked in bicarbonate solution around my index finger, put it in my patient’s mouth and hope they did not bite.
'How difficult can it be to take a glass of water, put it to a patient’s lips and get them to drink?'Subscription
Most readers of Nursing Times know just how difficult it can be to get patients to drink.
A few weeks ago a discussion on Twitter began with a plea from a frustrated anaesthetist.
For nearly two decades patient safety experts have looked to the airline industry as a model for safety and reporting practices.
Last weekend I watched the BBC programme The Big Question, which explored whether robots and artificial intelligence could do more harm than good.
Last week a palliative care nurse told me about a patient who was refused admission to a hospital ward because the staff did not know how to look after her tracheostomy.
How should we challenge violence and aggression?Subscription
Hospital accident and emergency staff have become resigned to patient violence and aggression.
'The nursing role will continue to evolve'Subscription
What should nurses delegate to unregistered staff?
Today I am working from home and the heating went off at 8am. By midday I was absolutely freezing. Luckily, I can get up and move around, make myself a hot drink or put on a jumper. I can also afford to switch the heating back on.
In the summer of 2015 the Daily Telegraph drew attention to unhealthy relationships between some health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry. It described lavish trips organised by drug manufacturers to promote their products and ultimately influence purchasing and prescribing practice.
I recently read the novel Even the Dogs, which is a fascinating insight into the lives of homeless and vulnerable people. The author Jon McGregor describes the stark realities of living on the edge of society, but what is most striking are his references to the importance of touch. He writes about how infrequently positive touch occurs in his characters’ lives, and describes one experience of a consultation with a nurse:
In his book Do No Harm retired neurosurgeon Henry Marsh described the irritation of taking time away from his work to sit though mandatory training.
I wonder if anyone was surprised by the recent news that a group of GP practices have been placed into special measures.
A few weeks ago I went to see Still Alice and cried. Despite close contact with people with dementia it was a shock to see a middle-aged woman with the condition, her rapid decline and the impact her illness had on those around her. As a woman in my fifties I was also frightened by what the future might hold.
I don’t watch Top Gear, and perhaps my dented and increasingly rusty Ford KA explains why. But I am interested in the Jeremy Clarkson affair because until now he has been one of the “untouchables”.
The revelations of the Francis Inquiry into care at Mid Staffordshire hospital two years ago made shocking reading. How could something like this happen in our NHS?
The rhetoric of providing health care in the community, away from hospital, has been with us for years but the recent media coverage of problems in EDs illustrates how little progress has been made in shifting care from hospitals to primary care services.
When I was a student nurse we were taught that gloves created a barrier between the nurse and patient. So for much of my early nursing career I thought nothing of changing soiled beds, emptying commodes and gathering up sputum pots with bare hands. Although I also remember being obsessed with washing my hands at every available opportunity.
I was struck last night by a tweet which quoted a CEO of an NHS Trust saying “I’m running the biggest nursing home in Europe. We haven’t done any elective work in years”.