It’s all about education and teamwork for Rachel Taylor, one of our EMAZING Clinical Assessment Team (CAT) based in the Nottingham Control Room.
Rachel, from Bramcote, joined the team as Clinical Nurse Advisor two years ago, bringing a wealth of skills and expertise from her previous roles as a nurse in the community and from hospital emergency and cardiology wards.
She provides clinical advice and signposting to patients over the phone, and while she does miss seeing patients in person, she says the job is still just as rewarding. She said: "Your listening skills become fine-tuned as it is a different way of caring for someone when you can’t see them face to face, but the principles are just the same. I love being able to use all the skills and experience I’ve gained throughout my career to get them help from the right people as quickly as possible." Working in a fast-paced role is something that suits Rachel: "I’ve always found it easy to be cool in a crisis and I know how to calm people down and reassure them that they will get help, while I gather the information I need to get them that help as quickly as possible.
"Every nursing role I’ve had is about educating people about what help is available to them. They don’t want to have to go to hospital if they don’t need to, so being able to give them better, and often more local options, is far better for them, and the NHS," she said.
The Clinical Assessment Team is made up of paramedics, nurses, mental health and midwifery experts, who work on a 12-hour shift rotation to provide a 24/7 service. There are 70 staff in the team who work across our two control rooms.
Rachel loves being side by side with staff from other clinical backgrounds as she can learn from them and grow as a nurse. And it’s the sense of teamwork that she loves the most about her job. She said: "I love being surrounded by such an amazing team of people in the Control Room. The mix of specialties means you’re always learning and have others to bounce off, and the comradery is great - something you don’t have so much of when you work out in the community.
"Everyone is so proactive, positive and supportive. There’s always someone there to talk to if you have a tricky call that can be stressful or upsetting. The team makes sure you get some down time and that makes such a difference."
And if there’s anything to test the strength of a team, it’s a major national crisis. Rachel was keen to talk about how impressed she’s been with EMAS and her colleagues’ response to the pandemic. She said: "It was incredible to see how quickly our teams responded to the outbreak last year. The way we were kept up to date with the situation was great, we all got the right personal protective equipment and screens quickly and I felt safe the whole time.
"Seeing everyone pull together under very difficult and ever-changing circumstances really shows how good the organisation is that we work for."
When asked about what’s next in her career, Rachel thinks education might be a path to explore in the future.
She said: "I’m still finding my feet at the moment, but I’ve always really enjoying teaching and showing people how to do things, so I think that’s probably something I’d like to do a bit more of if the opportunity arises."