Recite Me

Our Nurses. Our Future: Poppy Elsegood, Team Lead

You might expect me to echo the sentiment that nursing means everything to me, and while that's undeniably true, it's not just a cliché—it's a profound reality. I am unbelievably proud to be a nurse. For me, being a nurse means I get to help and support people on a higher level as a medical professional. To truly make a positive impact and a difference in their lives.

Poppy currently work as a band 7, Team Lead for the Continence Service in North and West Norfolk. Here is her story…

I really enjoy this job role. I have a good balance of working with patients and managing the team. What I particularly love about our service is, not only the wide variety of patients that we see with complex medical conditions, but that we have so many options available these days to help treat our patients and not just manage them with products. It really is a great sense of accomplishment when we invest our time working with a patient to make them continent again, which vastly improves their quality of life.

We talk about dignity a lot as nurses, It’s part of our core values. Being incontinent is never a dignified way of life, there are a few patients that we are unable to treat and need to be managed with aids and appliances but most patients we do see, we can treat, and this makes me proud to be a nurse.

Reflecting on my journey, spanning 12 years in nursing, I started on Beech Ward located at (Norwich Community Hospital) moving to a local GP surgery and then HMP Bure. However, it was my role as a Clinical Consultant with Essity, particularly working with the TENA brand, that ignited my passion for continence care. Over seven years, I delved into research studies and learning modules, nurturing a profound understanding of this field.

In an ever-evolving NHS, every day brings new lessons and opportunities for growth, if it’s not from new practices, research, or guidelines it’s from our peers and especially our patients. I would say, over the years I have learnt as much from the patients as I have from medical information. We never stop learning, we live in an ever-changing innovative world, which is incredibly exciting as new possibilities and opportunities are always presenting themselves which not only teaches us as nurses but also impacts positive patient outcomes.

Looking ahead, I anticipate challenges in navigating technological innovations with AI robots, as this takes away the human approach that we give to our holistic care. However, I remain optimistic about the future of nursing, by the promise of better ways of working and breakthroughs in research that offer hope for more effective treatments and cures.

Reflecting on the changes I’ve witnessed in nursing, the shift to digital medication charts (SystemOne) stands out, that blew my mind, but I soon got the hang of it.

Yet with these changes, I believe that prioritising time is paramount. Time pressures not only impact us as humans exhausting us but also time to continue learning to ensure we are delivering gold standard care and more time to listen and invest into our patients. It would be the dream to be proactive in healthcare rather than reactive.

I’m occasionally asked if I ever considered a different career path. While the idea of becoming an equine osteopath once beckoned, I’m grateful for the path I’ve chosen. Nursing has not only fulfilled me professionally but has also enriched my life in ways I couldn’t have imagined.

For those embarking on their nursing journey, my advice is simple, make sure that you want to be a nurse, you need to ensure you are passionate and a strong individual. Everything else will come in time as you learn. Enjoy your training, nothing will prepare you for the day you are in charge of your own patients, once you get over the initial shock that you are their nurse, it will all fall into place, and you will be fine.