A day in the life of a community nursery nurse

31 Jul

By Sharon Insull, NHS Community Nursery Nurse

8.45 am Arrive at the office. We have a desk-share policy, which could mean moving to another base at busy times to access a computer. All our records are electronic and all contacts and communications should be documented within 24 hours.

Open up the computer and log into the system that holds all our family records. Check the team message book (which we do every time we return to the office) for missed calls from parents/carers, management, professionals, childcare providers, partnership agencies etc. Attempt to return calls.

9.00 Print off booked appointments for two-year reviews planned for later. Check the records of each child on the list for significant information.

9.20 Arrive at the local children’s centre. Give an attendance list to the reception clerk and set out the room.

9.30 Two-year health review group session. Up to eight children are invited. The session is staffed by two community nursery nurses and a family visitor, who will complete the speech assessment.

The children are encouraged to play with their carer, and this is observed by staff to assess social development and interaction.

Questionnaires are sent with the assessment invitation letter, to be completed before the children arrive, and these are reviewed with the carer. Any concerns raised by the questionnaire or observations are discussed and plans are agreed to support the child. Immunisations are checked and advice given about future ones needed.

Hearing and vision are also discussed and, if needed, referrals completed to audiology or orthoptics.  We go over diet, dental care, toilet training, safety, and childcare/nursery and carers’ concerns and encourage participation in local children’s activities.

If concerns with speech are identified, this will be reviewed again in the near future by the family visitor – who works closely with the speech and language team – or the child is invited to a group to give the parent/carer ideas to promote speech.

Any non-attenders are put into the health team’s allocations meeting for follow-up.

11.00 Parent at the children’s centre asks for advice about her child’s sleep.

11.10 Talk to children’s centre reception staff about upcoming activities planned so these can be promoted to families.

11.15 Liaise with other children’s centre support staff, family support workers, councillor, family learning co-ordinator and Job Centre Plus about families being jointly supported.

11.30 Return to the office to start documentation of two-year reviews. Post off any referrals and arrange appointments for follow-up assessment needs or support.

12.00 Lunchtime. We are encouraged to eat together as a team, as it’s the only time we all meet. It’s also a time to socialise, off-load about concerns or stress arising from our morning appointments, and give peer supervision if needed, so it’s essential for team building. It also ensures we have a break away from work.

12.30 Continue with documentation.

1.00 pm Team allocations meeting. This is when work is distributed to individuals, following a team discussion. Our team is made up of qualified health visitors, community nursery nurses and a staff nurse. We also have three student health visitors. The work is given to the person with the appropriate skills and knowledge and available workload capacity – if possible, someone who has worked with the family before.

The work (which can include home visits, telephone calls or sending a letter) could be:

  • a new birth contact
  • a request for behaviour support/assessment
  • a development review following a concern
  • following up reports of domestic violence
  • following up hospital/A&E visits
  • supporting children with additional needs
  • contact where there are general concerns about a child
  • a transfer-into-area home visit
  • reviewing transfer-out-of-area records, or
  • following up a ‘did not attend health review appointment’.

Dates for clinic cover and meetings (network, case conference, team and family) are also discussed, as are annual leave and training sessions booked to ensure adequate staff cover for the team.

The team oversees the healthcare of nearly 2,000 children under five in the local area.

2.30 Arrange appointments for work allocated and prepare resources for those visits.

Send letters or call families with visit dates and times.

Discussion with a social worker who is working with the same family as me. Plan future contacts. Document this conversation.

4.00 Receive text-type telephone call from a deaf parent.  Deaf parents are generally given a staff member’s work mobile number to contact when they need to. If a long conversation is needed, text-type calls are made. (This is where the parent types a message to a clerk who verbally tells me what has been typed. I reply and the clerk types the message.)

4.10 Continue documentation.

4.15 I receive a call from children’s safeguarding unit about a case conference date. System is checked to see if the child has a named team member. A message about the conference date is put in the message book for an absent team member and this is also documented in the child’s records.

4.35 Last minute check for tasks on the system, check the message book and return calls if possible.

4.45 A call from a clinical manager about targets for health reviews for children aged 6 to 12 months and two years. The Government has set target figures for these contacts. If they are not reached, the manager has to complete a report on why they have not been achieved.

5.00 pm (if lucky) Clear desk, shut down computer and go home.

[Article written for August 2014 Your Voice.] 

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8 Responses to “A day in the life of a community nursery nurse”

  1. pam 01. Aug, 2017 at 3:29 pm #

    Hi Sharon, read your diary, you seem to have a very busy, interesting day. Can you help? I have an interview for a community nursery nurse post, can you give me some example questions I may be asked please, I have been reading a lot of material on safeguarding and the EYFS document, just want to be prepared. Kind regards Pam

  2. Deborah Lawson 08. Aug, 2017 at 10:54 am #

    Pam, I am glad we were able to put you in contact with Sharon. I hope the conversation with her was helpful. Good luck with your interview.
    Deborah Lawson

    • Margaret Lewis 24. Oct, 2017 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi Sharon I was just reading your diary and I found it quite interesting. I am doing some research for an interview for community nursery nurse and was wondering if you can offer any advice or incite as to the interview process, e.g. will there be a test and what should be my main area of focus for my interview preparation. Any help or suggestion would be greatly appreciated.
      Thank You Margaret

      • Richard Fraser 24. Oct, 2017 at 4:24 pm #

        Can I forward the email address that you supplied to Sharon so she can respond to you?

        Richard Fraser

        • Margaret 31. Oct, 2017 at 1:43 pm #

          yes you can
          thank you

          • Richard Fraser 31. Oct, 2017 at 1:57 pm #

            I have done so.

            Richard Fraser

  3. Latoya 31. Jan, 2018 at 7:45 pm #

    Great email very informative. I have an interview could you give me any example questions I could be asked. Thank you very much.

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