Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Nurse in Practice

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Nurse in Practice

Article excerpt

Shelly Williams is on to her 30th patient of the day.

Sitting behind her desk, she still greets everyone with a welcoming smile.

She's seen everything up until now - head lice, water infections, breathlessness.

And it doesn't matter what complaint the next patient brings through the door.

She will treat them all with the same care and knowledge as the last.

And with the same professionalism as the doctors sitting in their consulting rooms nearby.

Because Shelly is a nurse practitioner working from her base at Eaglescliffe Health Centre.

And although she's not a trained GP, she's there to perform many of the same tasks carried out by doctors at the site.

Consultations, handing out advice, assessing, treating and prescribing are all important aspects of her role.

"It helps take the workload off the doctor," she says. "That is very useful."

Shelly, from Norton, began her medical career more than 20 years ago, when she trained as a nurse at the old Middlesbrough General Hospital.

The 43-year-old then became a midwife at the University Hospital of North Tees, before having children of her own.

And after returning to midwifery, she then decided to turn her expert hand to practice nursing.

"I came to Eaglescliffe and worked my way up to be a nurse practitioner," she explains. "I really enjoy it."

Shelly is the first nurse practitioner to be employed at Eaglescliffe Health Centre and now works full time.

"That is an endorsement of how successful it has been," she smiles.

"The doctors value the role and can see how much difference it has made to them."

The health specialist's day begins at 8.30am and her consultations kick off at 8.40am.

Often, patients can ring on the morning and be seen by Shelley later the same day.

The nurse practitioner can assess and treat patients, prescribing certain treatments for conditions such as eczema and impetigo.

And she can refer patients back to a GP, seek advice from the doctor, or refer people on to clinics, such as asthma sessions or stop smoking services. …

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