Nursing Times blogger Elena Kinchington on experiencing care from a patients’ point of view.
As a paediatric intensive care nurse I’m more used to taking care of people than being cared for. In October 2008 I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis. It’s been a fascinating, if slightly unwelcome, change for me to experience the provision of service from this alternate viewpoint. I’ve been lucky to receive excellent care from the many services I’ve encountered in the last eighteen months, something that has made me proud to work within the NHS. Seeing the health service from the point of view of a patient rather than that of a nurse has also shown me where there could be some room for improvement.
Though I’ve had a fair few relapses, I’ve started to feel positive and happy with things, taking one day at a time. This is encouraged by my fantastic physiotherapist, who energies me to do things that I thought could never be possible, as well as the support from my family, friends and colleagues at work. Another person who has recently inspired me is an incredible woman by the name of Alison Thomson.
Alison is an inspiring woman in her twenties currently completing her masters looking at improving communication and provision of service within the NHS. This unique project is specifically focussed on patients with MS (which is how I came to know her), though the application can be adapted for other chronic and acute conditions. Her enthusiasm, and dedication to the project, shows though the many discussions I’ve had with her and this will be visible in her exhibition. You can’t help but become enthralled with her and her work; when you appreciate the time, energy and emotion she has given of herself. She purposely strives to improve the provision of care that patients with MS receive, with emphasis on the importance of communication from the point of diagnosis to the continued facilitation of treatment.
She creates a visual feast through the presentation of how service could be provided. This description becomes literal when you understand the tools used as the metaphor. She invites us to think about the service given by other service providers. She uses an example familiar to us all, exploring how a restaurant would provide exceptional care and consideration to their customer. Her aim is to encourage us to think differently about the provision of health care.
Her exhibition ‘The Chronic Facility’ (Show Two) is free of charge and open to all. She encourages discussion, questions and forward thinking, inviting practical participation. For further information you can visit her website: somehowrelated.co.uk
About the author
Elena Kinchington is a Staff Nurse working in a Paediatric Intensive Care Unit in London