Cheryl Wilkes is an out-of-hours Nurse Practitioner at The Royal Glamorgan Hospital and a student on the MSc Advanced Clinical Practitioner course.
A qualified nurse for 28 years, Cheryl has worked in Acute Medicine, Coronary Care, and Education as a Clinical Skills Teacher and Resuscitation Officer. She is also a Non-Medical Prescriber.
"I work as part of the Hospital at Night team which consists of co-ordinator, a medical team and a surgical team.
My duties depend on whether I am working with the surgical or medical team but will include reviewing biochemistry and haematology results and prescribing as appropriate; taking bloods and blood gasses; ordering x-rays; reviewing sick patients in respiratory, cardiac or renal failure, as well as septic patients and dying patients.
I assess, diagnose and treat patients using skills that I am continuously developing as a result of my role and of the education received on this course.
I had not intended to undertake a Masters Course because I was concerned about the commitment that I would have to give over a three year period.
However after undertaking the Non-Medical Prescribing course in 2011, and the REACT course in 2010 I felt that I had a responsibility to my patients (and myself) to increase my knowledge so that I am as accurate as possible in my diagnosis and able to justify my prescriptions and referrals.
So far, the most enjoyable part of the Advanced Clinical Practitioner course has been the clinical skills sessions in the first year. I especially enjoy working with my mentor and other specialists clinicians. I learn new skills that I can immediately apply to my practice.
Doing the Advanced Clinical Practitioner course has made me realise what I don’t know, and what I need to know - but I can already see that I have improved patient care and job satisfaction."