Being a Care Maker

Today`s guest blog comes from Joan Pons Laplana, Telehealth FLO Clinical Lead for NHS Arden & Greater East Midlands Commissioning Support Unit at Scarsdale Hospital.  Tommy has met Joan a few times now at various events he has arranged for Tommy to have a workshop at.

Lets see what Joan has to say about being a Care Maker and his nursing experiences.  You can follow Joan on twitter at @thebestjoan


I started my journey as a Nurse in 1997 when I graduated from Nursing School in Barcelona.  As a young male nurse, I loved action and technology, so I fitted quite well into the accident and emergency (A&E) environment.  After gaining my Nursing Diploma, I undertook a degree in Management of the Critical Care Patient and then worked in various very busy A&E’s around Barcelona.  Work was intermittent, so I decided to pursue my career in England.  I landed in Sheffield on Bonfire night in 2000 and I was quite impressed by the reception and all the fireworks illuminating the sky!

As a young nurse I had a lot of energy and had 100 of ideas, most of them useless but occasionally one of them is brilliant but unfortunately slowly but gradually I felt more and more constricted by the hierarchic system that was task orientated and I felt I couldn’t be myself or express my ideas properly.  After a few years my energy was lost and I learn to oppress my passion and ideas. I was desperate to fit in and to be accepted by my peers and colleagues, the few occasions that I tried to be myself had ended in disaster and to be able to survive I learned to work on a safe mode of performing tasks to avoid problems, but I was constantly looking for ways to experience the same feeling again but I became frustrated.  I went home at the end of every shift demoralised, deflated and sad.  My nursing career began to drift and I ended up working on the nurse bank, where I became even more detached and unappreciated. I was feeling undervalued and unable to make the difference.  Because of that, I felt emotionally drained and I started to develop negative attitudes and feelings towards patients, and a growing devaluation of my own competence.  I could say that my care was compromised.

It was like a marriage going sour. In May 2012 I decided that Nursing was not for me anymore, But I decided to give it one last chance before filing for divorce.  I applied to be a community Nurse, That day I hit the jack pot. I found my perfect role.  Then towards the beginning of 2013 something magic happens

One day a copy of the Compassion in Practice document appear at work.  I started reading it and I immediately felt hooked.  That day, I went home smiling.  Suddenly there were a change in culture and I fell in love with the vision and the idea of person centered care.  The 6Cs for reminded me of my marriage vows, and from that day I try to live and breathe the 6Cs.

I was so inspired by the 6Cs I decided to join the Care Makers programme and I am now an ambassador for the 6Cs, spreading the word, enthusing others and embedding the 6Cs in my daily role.

We know the NHS is going through a tough time, and one of the biggest issues is the lack of engagement and low moral in its frontline staff.  And since I became a Care Maker my intention has been to reignite the passion in frontline staff.

Nothing [about me] has changed, not my intelligence – what has changed was passion.  I know that there are a lot of Nurses and other health workers that have experience the same I did and their passion and energy have been burning out slowly. My mission is to reach to them.

Being a Care Maker has help me to reignite the passion I had when I left university. Being a Care Maker is more than being an ambassador of the 6cs, it’s a lot more than wearing a T-shirt.  What I love more of being a Care Maker is the community behind it, and incredible group of passionate people that has help me and support me and encouraged me on a daily basis.

When you surround yourself with people who believe what you believe then something magic happens.  Being a Care Maker has make me fall in love with Nursing again.

Being a Care Maker has brought me opportunities that I could only dream of and has enabled me to work on amazing projects and to reach out to new people.  It has empowered me and helped me become a better nurse and because of that my patients has benefited because I been able to deliver better care.

As Tommy always says, small actions make a huge difference and to be able to make a difference others you need to feel capable of it.  It’s a privilege and an honour being a nurse, but with that privilege comes professional responsibility.  The 6Cs can renew our professionalism and public confidence in our professions.  The 6Cs are not just the business of nurses, midwives and care staff.  They are the business of all health and care staff: from doctors, to porters, to physiotherapists, to care workers and managers.

Posted in 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts

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