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Could you be a major trauma nurse practitioner?

Published on: 14 Jun 2023

Trauma nursing combines aspects of critical care, leadership and multidisciplinary teamwork in a dynamic clinical environment.

Could you be a major trauma nurse practitioner?

For anyone severely injured in a serious accident, the aftermath can be distressing and uncertain, but at St George’s Hospital in south west London, specialist major trauma nurse practitioners chart the way forward.

‘We have a tertiary service that’s nurse-led, which I believe is unique. I don’t think anywhere else is doing that yet, with nurse practitioners,’ says Tiffany Smith, lead major trauma nurse at the hospital – which is one of four major trauma centres in London.

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Ms Smith leads a team of five senior nurses, all of whom have critical care backgrounds in emergency care and intensive care, and have advanced and extended assessment skills.
Patients usually have multiple and different injuries as a result of their accident – which could include being knocked off a bicycle, being involved in a collision or falling.

Every patient is clinically reviewed by someone in Ms Smith’s team, usually within 24 hours of admission, and a management plan is then formulated that involves liaising and coordinating care with different hospital departments.

The nurses follow the patient from intensive care or the ward through to discharge – whether that’s home, a rehabilitation centre or the person’s local hospital.

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‘Patients often need input from a broad range of specialties, with various people needing to do lots of things at the same time,’ says Ms Smith. ‘Our role is about organising all of that and getting the priorities right. We do a good job of engaging everyone across the trust to come with joined-up thinking and shared purpose.’

This is an abridged version of the article What does it take to be a major trauma nurse practitioner which was first published in Nursing Standard. Read the full article to learn more about the skills and qualifications you need for the role and how to decide if this might be the job for you. 

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