Emergency Care Advanced Clinical Practitioners

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EM ACP Day 2020

On Friday 13 November we are celebrating our Advanced Clinical Practitioners in recognition of their work and value to our specialty.

We ask you for your stories of what it means to you to be an ACP, why you become one and what’s great about the specialty. We also asked consultants and supervisors to tell us what ACPs bring to their teams. Below are your stories and videos.

You can follow the day on Twitter using the hashtag #EMACPday

"Where do I begin? My vocation for healthcare started as a child when I joined St John Ambulance badgers. I love learning how to care for people who were injured. Over the years I carried on with the voluntary work and watching casualty – yes I know, raised eyebrow alert :) – I knew I wanted to be a nurse in an Emergency Department.

"At 17, I started my nurse training and wrote begging letters for a placement to the nurse manager of Salford Royal Emergency Department. That placement blew my mind, and I knew that’s where my career was heading. 

"I qualified in 1999 and did my mandatory six months on a ward. I then secured a role as a staff nurse at Salford Royal. I worked hard to get my Band 6. Lots of courses, hard work and sweat. I loved prehospital care too. We had one of the first ACPs in the country. A true role model and mentor. I knew after meeting this nurse, I was going to follow in her footsteps. I had set my goal. Seeing the ACP autonomously assess, treat and discharge patients with the care and thinking of a nurse was an eye opener. Boundaries have changed.

"In 2006, I went to become an Emergency Nurse Practitioner in an inner-city walk-in centre. That was an eye opener. I loved the mix of primary and emergency care that my role entailed. Also back to university to complete my post grad cert in autonomous emergency care and non medical prescribing. Unfortunately, the government decided that walk in centres were no longer needed and it was shut. Back to the ED I went. New department, new challenges and new opportunities. 

"I started my MSC in 2014. Wow, that was a hard slog. Having a four-year-old, a mentally ill husband and a masters to complete was heart breaking and completely mind blowing. I kept going. Before I qualified as an ACP, I moved back to Salford. I left the department 10 years earlier when it had two ACPs, then it had 14 nurses and physio advanced practitioner. It is a great team with fantastic learning opportunities including working towards the RCEM accreditation. I also work for a premiership football club. Advanced Practice has no boundaries. 

"Fast forward another few years – where am I now? This week I have moved to Rochdale infirmary where I have become the lead ACP for the Urgent Care Centre, ambulatory care, rapid response and the home IV team. There are 22 highly qualified, multi professional ACP’s in the team and cannot wait to work with them.  

"So why did I become an Advanced Practitioner? From the 9 year losing learning BLS to a lead ACP. The answer was Mrs C. A fantastic ACP, a fantastic role model, an educator a friend. A nurse who showed me that I can do anything with my career to benefit my patients and my team.  

Lindsay Johnston
Salford Royal Hospital

“I love emergency medicine and I’ve worked as a staff nurse & sister in the same ED in Barnsley for many years.

“I watched one of my colleagues, Richard Jackson, as he practised as an ACP. He soon became my inspiration. He still is. Watching him work so brilliantly made me want more and to develop my own expertise. I needed to assess and treat my own patients. One thing I knew for sure: I was in the right ED with the right support to help me deliver this amazing role, and I was so right. 

“It has its difficult days but what job doesn’t! I am so excited about the future of our team and our new trainees.”

Cheryl Barnes
ACP Emergency Medicine
Barnsley NHS Foundation Trust
ACPs in Princess of Wales Emergency Department
ACPs are an essential constant in our emergency department workforce. They are a valuable resource of experience and clinical competence that we use to facilitate ongoing development of our clinical and nursing teams. 

In our department, ACPs are extremely experienced, some having over eight years of experience in the role of an ACP. These experienced clinicians work at the level of a senior decision maker in the department, leading handovers in the morning and evening and taking role of EPIC (ED Physician in Charge) in the absence of an ED consultant. The team of ACPs working in POW have developed special interests much like our consultants or ED trainees, and this brings unique skills and knowledge to the ED team. Some of these include education, simulation, major incident management, resuscitation, legal and triage interests. 

For example, Cheryl John is a credentialed ACP, who has also gained honorary lecturer status from Cardiff University for her dedication to undergraduate education and has now taken charge of undergraduate medical education in the Emergency Department. She is a well-known educator across south Wales due to her commitment and experience in education, and she also contributes to teaching for ‘The All Wales School of Emergency Medicine’ and advanced practice across Wales.

These are a selection of quotes regarding our ACPs from their portfolio:

“***** provides excellent clinical care. She frequently leads in resus and teaches junior doctors critical care skills. I am always happy in ***** clinical knowledge and skills that she can manage any case that attends the resus room.”

“***** makes a massive contribution to our team, he is very well respected by all colleagues and is hard working, pleasant and trustworthy.”

“A great leader. Very sensible and reliable. Hardworking. Always happy whenever **** is in the department.”

“Extremely gifted educationalist. Ability to teach and organise teaching to the highest standard.”

“An excellent well-rounded emergency clinician."

Statement from Dr Matt Jones, Clinical Director for Emergency Care for Princess of Wales Hospital Bridgend: 

“Our ACP’s offer our department a constant senior workforce that is invaluable to the day-to-day working of our Emergency Department. Not only do they offer excellent standards of clinical care and knowledge, but they also take on many senior management tasks, such as leading on education and development of flow of patients through the Emergency Department. We are fortunate to have such an experienced group of ACPs, and we are now reaping the benefits of having such a multi-talented group of ACPs.”

“I’m currently educational/clinical supervisor to a Year 2 ACP in our ED in Yeovil Somerset. My ACP Simon, who comes from a paramedic background, brings a wealth of experience, clinical skills & systems knowledge to the ED. 

“As a motivated adult learner, he is a pleasure to supervise and as a senior – into their third decade of EM work – is a great prompt for refreshing knowledge (anatomy of the Circle of Willis anyone?). 

“There are many great improvements which have been made in EM in the last few years –developing the workforce with ACP’s is one of them. 

“Enjoy ACP day!” 

Miss Delia Parnham-Cope
ED Yeovil district hospital 

“Since starting our ACP programme, we have found our ACPs bring huge value to the team. Of course there is a the clinical role that is core to being an ACP, but I think what is often understated is the added value beyond this that ACPs bring to a team, since becoming an ACP requires being an experienced professional in prior roles. We very much take the view that ACPs are providing breadth and a new grade to our workforce, not filling doctor rota gaps. 

“Some examples are the extensive work one of our ACPs has done on developing our strategy for patients who arrive having been subjected to violence/assault. As the CEO of the charity Stand Against Violence, he is a phenomenal addition to our team. 

“Another member of our team has been a Caldicott guardian, worked in 111 call centres, and had senior management roles in the ambulance service. 

“Emergency Medicine has always prided itself in having clinicians with a huge variety of skills and the ACP workforce is growing this in yet another way, which can only be good for our specialty.”

Dr James Gagg
Clinical Director & Consultant
Musgrove Park Hospital

#EMACPday - your videos (playlist)