Who are you: Claire Rowley.
Summarise your role: The critical care outreach team are specialists in recognising and managing acutely deteriorating, and critically ill patients, responding to medical emergencies and cardiac arrests as required. One cause of acute deterioration is sepsis, which is the body’s overwhelming and life-threatening response to infection. World Sepsis Day is today and raising awareness is crucial in order to prevent deaths from sepsis which currently affects 245,000 people in the UK each year – with 48,000 people dying of sepsis related illnesses.
What do you find challenging about your role: Early recognition of acute deterioration is vital to save lives. Sepsis is often treatable (with the Sepsis 6) if caught early- we just need people to be able to recognise the signs and seek treatment in time. If left untreated, it can cause multi-organ failure and death. We are now seeing sicker patients come into hospital, and are under increasing time pressures as clinicians - so when a deteriorating patient is not recognised quickly enough for effective treatment, this can be traumatic for everyone.
What do you find rewarding: I love teaching! Being able to transfer years worth of knowledge and experience to junior staff, and seeing a little lightbulb moment, that then makes a difference to our patients is incredibly rewarding. The Sepsis and Acute Kidney Injury study day that critical care outreach run is an example of that. Talking to ward nurses in small groups, analysing case studies together, listening to their challenges, and learning from each other is most rewarding and one of my main reasons for doing this role. I also love the variety this role gives me, working both clinically, educationally and managerially means I meet a lot of staff and patients.
What do you enjoy outside of work: Outside of work I love swimming, pilates, walking the dog, spending time with family and friends, and listening to audible books. Lockdown taught me the importance of self-care, and all of the above are aimed at that. I strongly believe that if you listen to your body, it will tell you when something is wrong. We need to look after ourselves, mind, body and spirit.