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Bold and courageous community practitioners

I’m part of a specialist community team that looks after children and young people from birth to 19 years. I manage health visitors who look after children up to five years old. My job is to make sure my team are competent and safe practitioners, and that they are supported to deliver care to the children and families in the community.

We’ve seen huge changes to our roles over the last decade and it is always evolving, so I have to support the team through a lot of change. This year, I was nominated by a colleague for a long-service award. She said I’m an encouraging team leader and I encourage them to be bold and courageous.

I’ve had a lot of good feedback about my style of management and it is something I have cultivated over a number of years. How I manage is how I’d like to be managed myself.

I’m a good listener and I’m quite empathetic. I started from the bottom and worked my way up, so I haven’t forgotten how it is. I often talk to the team about what they would like to see and how they think changes could be implemented – it’s not top down, it’s bottom up.

When I manage the hub, I sit in the room with the health visitors, so they feel like I’m part of the team and they can come to me with queries. When you are visible and available it creates a sense of transparency and fosters good working relationships.

I also try to give feedback to my team because then they feel valued. It also promotes self-worth and confidence, which makes them better practitioners. All nurses want to do is make a difference. With national nursing recruitment issues, it is very hard to feel like you’re doing the best you can and many nurses do feel stretched, so reminding them that they’re valued and that they are doing a great job is really important, and makes them feel like somebody is listening.

When I started nursing I had no idea where my journey would lead, and I feel really lucky to work with some fantastic, skilled nurses that are passionate about what they do.

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