International Nurses Day: A day in the life of… Helen Bosley, Infection Prevention and Control Matron

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I am both a registered general nurse and sick children’s nurse and my career has involved broad and varied experience across several specialized fields including both pediatric and adults intensive care.

For the last 15 years I have worked in the speciality of infection prevention and control (IPC). This has included working in an acute Trust and for the last 10 years working as Head of Infection Prevention and Control in a large combined community and mental health foundation Trust, which provides services across three counties. My interests are broadly antimicrobial resistance, education, and developing effective collaborative partnerships across health economies to improve patients’ outcomes.

I am currently studying part time for a PhD.

My alarm goes off…

I’m an earlier riser and generally off to work early. I usually have a quick shower and cup of tea before driving to my office, which is about 26 miles away. The commute is generally quite straight forward as it’s mostly motorway but leaving early helps avoid hold ups and traffic. I like to get into the office early, when is quiet and get ahead with the day’s work.

I’m responsible for…

I’m the IPC lead for a large community and mental health Trust covering three counties and am responsible for corporate, clinical and expert leadership for the Trust, externally and internally. This involves supporting divisions and providing specialist input. I’m responsible for providing leadership to all staff to challenge poor infection prevention practice and behavior that compromises patient care. I provide day-to-day strategic leadership, provision of direction to the multidisciplinary workforce with the strategic aim of on-going improvement in the quality of the patients’ experience.

The IPC team is small and consists of 2.6 specialist nurses and a part-time administrator. We work closely as a team and I work alongside my colleagues and share in managing day to day clinical queries, audit and teaching. I also have a strategic role and work on collaborative projects and initiatives across the health economy.

My typical day…

No two days are the same and I often work remotely across the Trust. However, when in the office I try to catch up on local meetings. Recently I had a day where I was in the office for 07:15, worked till 10:30 before travelling to deliver some mandatory training then back to the office for another meeting.

The variety of the role means I can be involved with county and health economy wide projects. An example is the Academic Health Science Network (AHSN) project to reduce catheter-associated infections (CaUTI) – I was the project lead for this within the Trust and chaired the project meetings. The project involved the development and introduction of patients’ catheter passports, standardized products and staff competency assessments. An online eLearning training program was also developed, been funded by Health Education England (HEE) and is now available for use country-wide to all healthcare staff.

The best part of my job…

The best part of my job is working with my colleagues across all roles to improve and support practice and patient care. It feels like a big team.

The worst part of my job…

This is probably when I can’t make changes due to financial constraints

After work…

I have exercises classes two nights a week, which I always go to. These are really important especially if I have been sitting in my office, but also good for the brain!

I wouldn’t call it a hobby but I’m currently in the 3rd year of my PhD. The study is exploring mothers’ attitudes to using antibiotics for their young children in the community. This takes a lot of time but a really interesting and exciting thing to be doing.

I always wanted to be…

I’ve always loved history so would have liked to be an archaeologist. However, I love being a nurse and can’t think of doing anything else now.

You might also like: International Nurses Day: A day in the life of… Leila Hail, Senior Clinical Nurse Specialist in Infection Control

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