"I original came into working for 111 through an agency several years ago and decided to take the plunge into Out of hours to see what was really involved. Around the same time I was also offered a charge nurse position within a secure unit which was more suited to my background as a RGN and having previously worked within a substance misuse service. However I stuck to my guns and always looking for a new challenge I started on the 111 and pathways training course for the role, at which point i realised the scope for career development. When the opportunity arose for a permanent role with Care UK I was happy to transfer over; despite the initial appeal for agency work you can’t always guarantee your hours and it lacks career development.
When working within 111 the main difference the obvious difference to other nursing roles is that we do not see patients face to face. However this enables clinicians to develop and fine tune a new set of clinical decision making skills and safely manage risk through telephone triage. The pathways system you use provides the underpinning assessment tool for the safe clinical assessment of your patients, yet you still have the ability to bring and use your own clinical knowledge into the role.
The day to day tasks of a Clinical Advisor always revolve around meeting the safest and most appropriate clinical outcomes for all patients who use the service. The busy times of day tend to be just before GP surgeries open in the mornings and again when the surgeries close, both during the week and at weekends, namely the Out of Hours periods. The key part of the role is to provide support to the non-clinical staff within the call centre and being approachable and supportive. In the spirit of multi-disciplinary learning, paramedics and nurses will often discuss concerns with each other in order to gain a fully holistic understanding of assessing a patient. There is always something new to learn no matter how experienced one may be and keeping an open mind to new learning is key for personal development.
I would describe the role of a Clinical Advisor as varied, challenging and rewarding!"