Stroke Awareness Month - Dawn Sanderson-Allan | Blog posts

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Stroke Awareness Month - Dawn Sanderson-Allan

Dawn Sanderson

As part of Stroke Awareness Month, we are shining a spotlight on some of the staff who work with stroke patients at Mid Yorkshire Teaching Trust, to learn a little bit more about their roles.

Hi, my name is Dawn Sanderson-Allan, and I work as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in Stroke Assessment at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield.

I am part of a team of 12, and there are usually two of us on duty each shift in the stroke Hub. We hold the on-call Stroke phone 24/7, and take referrals from Yorkshire Ambulance Service, both of our Emergency Departments, Pontefract UTC, all wards within the trust, and GP referrals from Wakefield and surrounding areas.  We also take new, hyperacute stroke referrals from Barnsley.

We have four hyperacute beds within the hub. We triage, assess and facilitate patient transfers to the stroke hub, and are responsible for admitting and looking after the hub patients until they are ready to be admitted to a ward.

We work closely with the on-call stroke consultants to provide life altering treatments, such as thrombolysis, thrombectomy and blood pressure management for intracranial haemorrhages. We work autonomously following local and NICE guidelines, providing treatments and expert knowledge within, and out of, normal working hours with support from the stroke consultant on call. We are responsible for monitoring our patients closely and for recognising and instigating initial measures and investigations for the deteriorating stroke patient.

When patients first arrive it’s a fast pace to deliver the care they need in a stroke emergency. They are treated and stabilised and when safe to do so, moved onto the ward to be looked after by the stroke HASU team. A lot of patients probably remember our team as the ones rushing them down the corridor and waking them up every 15 minutes. We often get thank you cards, but it’s enough to us that we act quickly and provide them with the best care we can deliver.

We are always adapting and changing the way we work to provide the best care possible, and we regularly brainstorm ideas as a team. We used to have only one room for thrombolysis but now we have the stroke hub, we can safely deliver and monitor more than one stroke patient at a time.

One of the best parts of my job is seeing a patient who has had Thrombolysis or Thrombectomy treatment following a debilitating stroke walk out of the hospital after recovery.

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