Lucy Barrington, paediatric inherited cardiac conditions clinical nurse specialist

How long have you worked at RB&HH? Lucy Barrington

I have worked at RB&HH since 2015 when I first qualified as a paediatric nurse. I started my career on the paediatric cardiorespiratory ward, Rose ward, and worked there for four years where I developed my skills in this area of nursing. I worked in the high dependency unit (HDU) and did a rotation on the paediatric intensive care unit (PICU). I loved my rotation on PICU so much that I decided to stay there permanently and worked there for one year. During this time I worked part-time in Simulated Interprofessional Team Training (SPRinT) where I helped run training simulations in the department for nurses and doctors to improve team work and crisis management in emergency situations.

I started in the Inherited Cardiac Conditions (ICC) team in January 2020, which was a very exciting new role working as a clinical nurse specialist (CNS) helping support families affected by ICCs.

Can you describe what you do day-to-day?

My role day-to-day is working in a specialist multi-disciplinary team to support and manage paediatric patients and adult patients at risk of, or with a diagnosis of, an ICC. I work alone but also as part of a team to run specialist clinics, both face-to-face and virtual for children with cardiomyopathies (diseases of the heart muscle) and adults and children with inherited arrhythmias (heart rhythm abnormalities). I also work with patients who are screened due to a close family member being diagnosed with an inherited condition.

I work in a team of adult and paediatric trained ICC CNS’s, we run transition clinics to ensure patients are prepared for transitioning to adult clinic from paediatrics once they turn 16 or 17 years old. We respond to queries from parents via email or phone call, triage referrals into our service, and ensure patients are booked within an appropriate time frame and have input from our team on referral, if required.

What do you like most about your job?

I like that every day is different. There is a new challenge each day and I learn a lot from my team. I enjoy supporting families and easing any anxieties they have about their child’s condition and ensuring they feel supported and are safe in the community. Our ICC service is incredibly innovative and open to service improvement and adaptation which I really enjoy being part of.

Why did you decide to work in healthcare?

I have always been fascinated by the human body, I loved biology at school, and I wanted a career where I could care for people’s physical health. I had a drive to care for people and support families through the most difficult time of their lives. Nursing was the perfect role for this, it is also a career that has so many opportunities and areas for development within different specialised roles.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

When I was younger, I wanted to be a vet and look after sick animals. As I became a little older, I was in hospital myself for a long period of time and built a relationship with the nurses who cared for me and they made such a difference to my hospital stay, which I will never forget. I wanted to do the same for other families and make a difference, this is when I knew I wanted to be a paediatric nurse.