The following article is a personal reflection on becoming an OT expert witness, by...
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MSc Practitioner with a specialist interest in Cardiology, BSc Adult Critical Care, Dip Nursing
Following my qualification as Nurse in 2003, I have remained in acute nursing, working in emergency and acute medicine, cardiology and critical care, across three different hospitals. During this time, I have gained a wide range of skills and experiences in the nursing care of acutely ill adults.
Since 2013, I have been an Advanced Nurse Practitioner, initially in Cardiology, now in Emergency Medicine, autonomously managing patients presenting with undifferentiated conditions in A&E, Same Day Emergency Care and the Integrated Assessment Unit, as part of the wider MDT. This incorporates assessment, investigations, diagnosis and management, including prescribing as appropriate.
I also undertake a range of extended skills such as venepuncture, cannulation, catheterization, arterial blood gases, ECGs and am a non-medical prescriber. I am IRMER trained and request imaging. I am ICU transfer trained and an advanced life support instructor. Additionally I have a BSc Hons in Adult Critical Care, hold a Specialist Practitioner Adult Qualification and have gained MSc in Cardiology. I am currently a Pre-Doctoral Clinical Academic Fellow, funded by HEE/NIHR one day a week to develop a PhD research proposal and application for the Doctoral and Clinical Practitioner Academic Fellowship.
Alongside my acute work, I spent 8 years as a fitness to practice panellist for the Nursing and Midwifery Council, sitting on the Conduct and Competence Committee, finishing my term of office in November 2017. This developed my knowledge of the legal processes surrounding healthcare and regulation, and I became familiar with the adversarial process and civil procedure rules. I sat on a 3- person panel evaluating complex evidence and questioning witnesses and the registrants to ensure that decision making was robust and based on best evidence. I have also worked as a Specialist Advisor for the Care Quality Commission, undertaking ad hoc hospital inspections to evaluate services against regulatory frameworks.
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.