Writing about myself is something I find quite difficult so I am passing the buck so to speak! The Nursing Times published the following article in their ‘Role Model’ series of articles in which they tried to summarise myself and my previously termed passionately delusional nature!
Role Model: Maria Davison Emily Hardy
We need a seventh C: Change
Award-winning nurse, care maker and change day campaigner Maria Davison is bringing back courage, common sense and cups of tea
“We’re all for clinical judgement, but where’s the human judgement?” asks Maria Davison, the community nurse behind the #CuppaCare campaign.
Ms Davison’s patient-centric initiative, backed by NHS Change Day, is about getting permission for nurses to spend five minutes having a cup of tea with a patient. “It’s just common sense, isn’t it? Why do we have to hide behind a curtain to have a drink, when we could be sitting with a patient who doesn’t have a visitor?” she asks.
It’s staggering to think that Ms Davison – winner of the Frances Jaye
Compassionate Care award for her work in the East Midlands – has only been nursing three years. Still, having escaped a dead-end office job, she was
determined from day one to absorb herself in nursing. When she qualified in 2011 she felt 10 years behind everyone else and immediately set about
making up for lost time.
The “naturally nosey” Ms Davison travelled to different areas, witnessing a variety of good and not so good practice. Nursing was not how she had
expected it to be. “What they tell you throughout the three years of training is true: you really don’t learn how to nurse until you’re a nurse,” she says.
Ms Davison worked tirelessly on campaigns, such as Dementia Friends, and even started a blog: Proud To Nurse, so her influence was soon felt, both where she worked and in the community.
She volunteers as a caremaker, but argues that caring is something you can not avoid as a nurse.“Being caring is not something that you tick off your
daily ‘to do’ list. The six Cs – care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment – these are traits that most nurses have already.
“Having said that, it would be easier if there were seven Cs, the seventh
being change – a culture of change,” she adds.
Once Ms Davison became aware of ‘dated’ rules that were seeming to limit her and her colleagues’ ability to care for patients, she could not ignore them. “I don’t mind the rules, as long as there is a reason behind them, but I won’t avoid doing things that clearly benefit the patient,” she explains.
“Too many of us put up with the way things are because that’s the way things have always been, but I think we should do what’s right, not what some dusty old rule book somewhere tells us to do.”
Ms Davison has never been afraid to speak her mind, but her change-making has occasionally been received negatively.
“It’s not always met with open arms. Sometimes when I question something, I end up being enlightened and realising they are right. But sometimes they are not.
“But, I love a challenge,” she continues. “If someone tells me that I can’t do something, that usually makes me digs my heels in even more.”
With her most recent campaign, #CuppaCare, Ms Davison wants, more than anything, to give NHS staff their self-belief back. “They all know it, they all want to do it. They can all see it’s the best thing to do. But there’s the fear factor in the way.
“At the end of the day, the NHS have amazing staff who care. We become nurses because we care. We don’t go to work for the money, do we? So the NHS have got to start believing in the staff they’ve got.”
Ms Davison is just at the beginning of her career and yet her work is already impacting patients and nurses alike across the NHS. She also just received the Elastic FM Community Contribution of the year award in 2014.
“I’ve only just started,” she says, “but I always just believe that if you’ve got the courage to do what’s right, then the rest follows. Put it this way, I don’t go to work for Christmas cards. I go to work for the patients. I go make a
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