The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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BSc (Hons) Paediatric Nursing, MSc Advanced Neonatal Studies, Non Medical Prescriber
I am an advanced neonatal nurse practitioner (ANNP) within a busy Neonatal intensive care unit. I completed a MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice, specialising in Neonatology in 2014 after 6 years of tertiary neonatal experience. I also have a post graduate qualification in care of the sick neonate and a BSc in paediatric nursing.
As an ANNP I work autonomously providing high quality medical care to neonates born from 23 weeks gestation. This requires a comprehensive understanding of anatomy and physiology, combined with expert clinical skills and communication skills including difficult conversations surrounding patient deterioration and end of life care. As part of daily clinical practice, I review and assess patients, presenting information to peers and make decisions regarding clinical management. I am experienced in many clinical procedures including intubation, central line access and cannulation.
In addition to clinical work based in Neonatal intensive care, I work on the delivery suite. This includes attending high risk deliveries and resuscitation emergencies that arise on the neonatal unit, delivery suite and postnatal ward. I hold an advanced life support qualification and I am involved in simulation resuscitation training. My clinical duties include work on the postnatal ward performing the newborn examination and assessing common newborn conditions including jaundice and suspected sepsis. I am also part of the infant feeding team, ensuring breast feeding is supported on the neonatal unit and postnatal ward.
I am proactive in development of the neonatal unit and the nursing team, facilitating training and development of staff, managing performance reviews and recognising opportunities for education amongst nursing and medical staff. I teach both clinical procedures and the theoretical principles underpinning neonatal nursing care. I regularly attend local clinical governance meetings in order to contribute to maintaining and improving quality of care on the neonatal unit. Linked to this I am involved, in collaboration with the multidisciplinary team in updating procedural documents ensuring clinical guidelines are evidence based and relevant.
I accept instructions from both claimant and defendant solicitors and insurers. I have undergone formal training in the medico-legal process and am fully aware of my responsibilities under Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) pertaining to expert witnesses.