We’re delighted to welcome Louise Higgins to the One Hatfield Hospital Senior Leadership Team as our new Paediatric Lead. Louise first joined the team as a bank nurse in the summer and started her permanent role as Paediatric Lead in November.
Welcome Louise! We’re so pleased to have you on board. How are you settling in to your new role?
Since taking on my new, permanent role at One Hatfield everyone has been really welcoming and supportive. I feel very lucky to be able to work alongside other paediatric nurses with such a vast amount of experience and knowledge gained from working at Great Ormond Street and other surrounding hospitals.
What made you decide to specialise in paediatrics?
I decided to specialise in paediatrics as I feel children and young people deserve exceptional care. I thought I could help make a difference in providing their nursing care and making sure the children and young people had a voice as not everyone can get across how they feel. This might be due to communication difficulties, learning difficulties or simply because of being so young and not being able to express their needs. I wanted to be their advocate to ensure they received the best standards of care, and ensure a holistic family centred care approach was delivered throughout their time within the hospital setting. With communication at the heart their care, the patient and their parent or guardian have all the information and knowledge needed to make their decisions and have an understanding of the care process in place.
I have been a qualified paediatric nurse for 14 years now. I started out on a general paediatric ward in 2006, where I nursed children (from birth to 16 years old) with a variety of illness’s or injuries.
I then transferred to work in the accident and emergency department in 2010, and this is where I developed lots of my skills and confidence in emergency care for minor illness and injuries to major illness and injuries, and everything in between. I was part if the team that developed the children’s accident and emergency department that is still there today!
What does your typical day look like?
There is no typical day for me. Some days we have Children’s Day Surgery and other days I’m in the Outpatient’s Department where we have a variety of specialist consultants seeing paediatric patients and they require a range of support from the paediatric team for different interventions and procedures. For example assisting with hearing tests and allergy tests, blood tests, chaperoning for any medical assessments, taking the child/young person’s height, weight and observations and being there for the patient when their parent or guardian are talking to the doctor. I am also present for distraction and desensitising the child/young person for investigations such as ultra sounds, x-ray, MRI and cannulation. I will sit and talk to the child/young person and see how they are feeling and what they think is going on, and try and ease any anxieties they may have.
What does your role involve?
I am responsible for developing and managing our Children and Young Person’s Unit. Our paediatric service includes general paediatric care, such as allergy testing, ADHD and autism assessment, development delay, dermatology, asthma and other respiratory problems and gastrointestinal problems. We offer specialist care for ear nose and throat problems, audiology, orthopaedics, maxillofacial (dental extractions) and urology. We also offer GP appointments.
I want to make sure every child, young person and their parent/guardian have the best possible experience at One Hatfield Hospital and to make it as fun as we can for the younger children, inviting and not too daunting for the older children, and as straight forward as possible for their parents.