Emergency care at King’s Mill Hospital is something of a family affair for one Annesley Woodhouse family.
Lee Orgill (55) and his wife Kay (52) are both emergency care nurses, while their daughter Natasha (19) has recently started working as a care assistant in the Emergency Assessment Unit (EAU).
Kay, an A&E sister, and Lee, an emergency nurse practitioner, have nearly 70 years nursing experience between them and have seen dozens of changes to the health service during their careers.
Said Kay: “We have seen massive changes really. We both came into A&E in 1987 and we were seeing around about 18,000 patients a year.
“Now its 98 to 100,000.
“The patients that we saw then, there’s a lot of differences to what we see today too.”
Whereas injuries related to mining accidents or incidents at the hosiery factories of Mansfield and Ashfield used to be commonplace, a lot of today’s emergency department patients come in with minor injuries or illnesses. Alcohol and drugs also play a big part in A&E attendance.
“We have to be more aware now than ever before of safeguarding children too,” said Lee. “It’s not just if children are being abused but whether the family can cope.”
Being an emergency care nurse is different from ward nursing in that there is a fast turnover of patients.
“You don’t see the patient journey through, only the first part of it, and sometimes you wonder what’s happened to someone that you have nursed,” Kay said.
The Orgills agree that you need to be a ‘people person’ to do their jobs. You also need to be able to think on your feet and have an instinct to want to care for people.
“The buzz I get is when I have done something well or when someone thanks me, said Lee. “You feel proud of making a difference.”
Emergency care nursing frequently presents sad and upsetting situations, particularly when patients die, but Kay said the team at King’s Mill are ‘fantastic’ and support each other when needed.
Her and Lee also understand exactly what the other feels like after a bad day.
She said: “You do all get to the point where you think ‘why?’ or ‘it’s not fair’ on behalf of the relative that’s suffering and you do alternatively marvel at how people cope with things.”
Natasha now plans to follow in her parents footsteps into emergency care nursing.
“I really enjoy looking after people and knowing you have made an impact on someone’s life,” she added.