Get to know our Nurses- Jodie Powell

As part of the Year of the Nurse and Midwife 2020, we will be profiling some of our Nursing Team, and nurses and midwives from the Midlands region throughout the year.

As today is Valentines’ Day, we are focusing on Cardiac nursing. Find out more about Jodie Powell, Senior Programme Manager for the Cardiovascular and Respiratory Clinical Network  in the Midlands.

Jodie now works for our Clinical Network however has previously worked as a cardiac nurse, with her most recent clinical role being an Advanced Nurse Practitioner in Cardiothoracic Surgery.

On a typical day…

No two days are the same, they can vary from meetings with Clinical Directors for each of our Programme areas to review progress and discuss any risks and providing a checkpoint opportunity. Attending STP meetings, such as CVD Prevention Boards or Stroke Forums. Working with my team to support ongoing project and personal development. I also need to carve out time to complete the administrative elements of the role, including emails, programme reviews and management of the Clinical Expert Advisory Groups.

Tell us how you have made a difference as a nurse or midwife

When I was working clinically, I felt like I made a difference every day. You feel an immediate return on your efforts when you work directly with patients, such as supporting patients and their families after a lung cancer diagnosis or assessing, prescribing and commencing treatment for a patient who is acutely unwell – you can see the difference you’re making in front of you.

My current role is different and you don’t necessary see your impact straight away, often months of effort and focus will then result in feeling like you’ve made a difference, for example our team co-created a regional stroke strategy covering a population of over 5 million, which took over a year. Once produced we were able to see the difference this would make to patients and carers who experience a stroke.

What inspired you to go into nursing/midwifery? What would you say to a young person interested in a career in nursing & midwifery?

I was 17 and finishing my A-levels and wasn’t really sure what to apply for at University. I always knew I wanted I wanted to work with people and a career that has options – I’ve never liked to feel like there is a single track for me! Both my Mum and Auntie are Registered Nurses and Midwives and I’d grown up listening to their work stories and seeing the satisfaction and reward they got from their jobs – I never got the sense that they didn’t enjoy it or weren’t happy. So ultimately I would say my biggest inspiration would be my mum – who continues to be hugely supportive of everything I do and can always be relied upon to be a great sounding board if I’ve had a tough day or help me work through a particular challenge.

I would say to anyone considering a career in nursing or midwifery to talk to people who work in variety of areas to really understand the options available and the scope you have as a nurse/midwife. Don’t be put off or influenced by some of the negative press around nursing – it’s the most rewarding and fulfilling job with endless opportunities.

Tell us your most memorable moment

So many comical moments but something I remember so fondly was a time when I was working in London on a Coronary Care Ward as a Staff Nurse and we specialised in Congenital Heart Disease, an area I particularly enjoyed.

A young girl was admitted, about the same age as me at the time, she was undergoing investigations for varies cardiac related symptoms such as fast heart rate and syncope and was with us on the unit for several weeks. I had built up a strong relationship with her and was often her ‘named nurse’ for the shift. One day she went into cardiac arrest and the whole team worked tirelessly for hours to resuscitate her – it was one of the hardest shifts I’ve ever worked both physically and mentally. We successfully resuscitated her, and she spent a prolonged period on the intensive care unit – I’d visit whenever I was on shift to see the progress she was making and once she was conscious I’d just pop by to say hello. Several weeks past and eventually she was discharged home.

A good 6 months later I was sat having my lunch in the hospital café and someone tapped me on the shoulder – it was her. We hugged, I cried, she cried, her parents cried – one emotional day. She looked so well and healthy and was back working and carrying on a normal life and it was in that very moment I thought right back to that shift and the efforts of every single person! I’ll never forget that patient.