“Knowing that I am making a difference in my patients' lives is the most rewarding aspect of my profession and the thing that keeps me going every day.”

Sheeba Philip has worked at ELHT for seven years and a total of 21 years for the NHS. Previously the Lead Stroke Specialist Nurse at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals, she was the first ever appointed Nurse Consultant at ELHT and is currently the Stroke Nurse Consultant at Royal Blackburn Teaching Hospital.

She said:

Stroke in itself is a traumatic experience for the patient and their family because it occurs suddenly and sometimes without a warning. The effects of a stroke are often permanent and life-altering so knowing that I can make a difference in improving the patient's situation is incredibly fulfilling.

Sheeba PhilipMy main clinical role involves reviewing new admissions in the Emergency Department (ED) when they present with stroke-like symptoms. I assess patients and provide an expert opinion, initiate treatment plans and arrange appropriate investigations around the diagnosis of stroke. This includes the timely treatment with thrombolysis, and referrals for thrombectomy and neurosurgery as needed.  My role also entails developing pathways and influencing strategy and policies to ensure excellence in clinical areas for patients accessing the stroke services. 

The leadership and culture of ELHT are its greatest strengths. It has a non-blame culture that learns from instances when things go wrong and a leadership that is very encouraging of employees. It always encourages staff to improve and provides the support and guidance needed for improvement. Patient safety is always the focal point of everything done. 

I would certainly encourage people to get into this profession. Nursing is a very challenging profession but also very rewarding. It's a job without borders and the scope of practice is wide and progressing. The opportunity to learn new skills and progress in career is very high. As for me it also keeps me humble and to be thankful to the Lord for all the things in our life.