Ever wondered what it would be like to be a urology clinical nurse specialist? Here Carmen Burgheaua, who has been at the hospital for three years, discusses her experiences as a nurse and how her work supports the urology service.
What made you decide to become a nurse?
I have been lucky enough to have had the pleasure of meeting some amazing healthcare professionals who have inspired me, and I hope to one day equal their skills, diligence, and passion.
I am also a person who thrives on being challenged and I always have new goals to achieve, so nursing suits me as few other careers offer as much diversity and learning opportunities.
What interested you in becoming a urology clinical nurse specialist?
I had the chance to work with and be mentored by world-renowned urology consultants in Cromwell and my previous place of work. Their ability to talk and alleviate the pain and patient’s concerns were exceptional. I wanted to do more for these patients too.
I was already involved in catheter clinics -indwelling and self-catheterization, prostate assessment, TURP post-surgery follow up clinics, but I knew I needed to have thorough and extensive knowledge to be able to provide the care I wanted. I decided to enroll on BSc (Hons) Professional Nursing Practice at the South Bank University, where I got my degree in Urological Care.
What does a typical ‘day’ as a clinical nurse specialist look?
A typical day for me is very busy. Over the last three years the urology service has substantially increased, and we just launched our market leading Prostate Cancer Specialist Centre.
Noticeable as well that the virtual working has become a part of the normal working day. I never imagined that I would be able to have most of my meetings/courses online, but this is something that I now do regularly, and I recognise the benefits associated with this way of working.
My workload requires planning and a well-organised diary (which I am very fond of), and often stretches outside of a typical 8am to 6pm day.
How does your role support the wider urology team?
My role currently focuses on the management of prostate cancer, including the diagnostic pathway and follow-up. This includes telephone triage clinics for patients with suspected prostate cancer and arranging ongoing investigations.
I am responsible for several outpatient clinics relating to assessment and monitoring patients with other urological problems: urinary catheters, erectile dysfunction, TWOC, patient education, bladder instillation, urodynamic studies.
Along with the clinical educators’ teams and other CNSs I play an integral part in the education and training of my colleagues, on developing and reviewing SOPs, policies, and competencies. I also prepare the prostate MDT cases which now is held at the hospital twice per month.
What do you enjoy most about being a nurse?
I massively enjoy what I am doing and what I am – a Urology Specialist Nurse.
The patients’, colleagues’, and my urology consultants’ feedback many times brought tears on my eyes. I am equally grateful and proud that I can provide this level of care.