Managing patients with chronic disease is a difficult task, but getting them through their pain management and back home in the same day is harder still. Liz Green helps to manage this every day.
Liz, 41, from Kings Heath, is the Lead Nurse for Sickle Cell and Thalassaemia (SCaT) at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.
She looks after patients from Sandwell and Birmingham in the regional centre for the conditions. Both are inherited blood disorders; sickle cell gives patients pain when their red blood cells clump together preventing oxygen from getting to tissue. Due to the effects of Thalassaemia, patients need to go through blood transfusions every four weeks and lifelong medication to help rid their body of excess iron.
She said: “We see around 450 to 500 patients and are unique in offering patients pain management in a day case, meaning patients can go home after treatment.
“We work well as a team to help patients with chronic illness and all follow the same philosophy that we want patients to live as full a life as possible and we want hospital to be a small part of that life.
“We see a range of ages from adolescents to the elderly in our unit, and it feels great when we see them having babies and it is a real privilege for them to share moments like that with us.”
The Trust has been offering flexible drop in clinics for SCaT for almost a decade, and is the only regional centre to offer this service to patients.
Liz commented: “I am proud of the unit, the patients and the team. I am proud of how well the team gets on together and with our work.”
Liz worked as a nurse in Oxford and London before returning home to Birmingham to work after being inspired to go into nursing while observing her Grandmother’s work in the same profession.
Her next challenge is set up a conference for her patients.
She said: “Staff go to conferences where we learn about the latest research and treatment, and I feel that it would be greats for patients to have a conference to go to where they can find out the latest information regarding their condition.”
Away from work, Liz is very busy looking after her two children, seven year old Edward and four year old Matilda. She also finds time to go running and sewing, creating dresses and cushion covers.