My name is Katrien, I am a nurse at the 2 Diaverum clinics based in Paris (named Mont-Louis et Saint-Maur).

I joined the company 1.5 years ago and it is my first experience working in renal care.

I was born and raised in Belgium, where I grew up and fulfilled all my studies to become a nurse, all of this in Dutch, the language spoken in the north of Belgium. After I had worked for 2 years in a hospital in Brussels, the capital-city, I made the leap and moved to France to continue my professional career here. In Belgium I had followed a 1 year of training on top of the main courses in order to work in intensive care units and emergency services. In France this training does not exist and so is not recognized. It was a good experience for my CV and so I was able to quickly found a new employment in a paediatric intensive care unit in a public hospital.

After this first work experience in France, I wanted to try something completely different and so I came back to Belgium to continue additional training on tropical medicine, with thoughts of leaving on a humanitarian mission as a nurse. Upon my return to France, for a short time, I worked in a clinic for vaccination and prevention for travellers, to eventually leaving on a long trip across the globe myself. In March 2020 unfortunately I had to cancel my travel plans and return to help the overwhelmed medical teams in Belgium and France, for the obvious reason we all know.

Once I found my path again, I went in search of a new job, here in Paris, in a different field than I knew before: haemodialysis. At the beginning it was quite hard but interesting since everything was still new to me, even when I recognized some parts from the intermittent dialysis in the intensive care units. Currently, I feel good and comfortable in what I do. I continue to learn each day from my experienced colleagues and the nephrologists.

At work, in my team of nurses, we have the chance to have a mix of people who are extremely experienced in dialysis because they have been working in the field for several years, but also people who have worked in other fields, which makes us complementary. Even colleagues who come work as an interim at our centres share their experiences from other places where they previously worked.

For me, what I do is my passion, I do not see myself doing anything else for a living other than taking care of my patients and making sure they are ok. I think we all have the same mindset on this as a nurse, it is a sort of vocation and a job you cannot do if you do not like it. Nursing needs knowledge, courage, patience, empathy, determination, collegiality and multidisciplinary experiences, a critical look, and so much more. Since 1860, the year that Florence Nightingale published the foundations of professional nursing with the principles summarised in the book Notes on Nursing, our practices have evolved tremendously, even if the foundations have remained the same. Necessarily in my 8th year of my career, I have seen many changes.

The big advantage of nursing is the contact with our patients, the close one on one relationships we build with them, without even talking about their medical state, but more in a social way, their well-being and their social and psychological difficulties. We have got the impression patients are more likely to talk to us and to trust us more than they do with the other members of our multidisciplinary team, even when we have the luck to have therapists. We are the key chains to connect all of the different professionals. We feel that since our tasks got larger and larger, we lack time to spend with our patients.

How will the nursing profession develop in the future?

A good question, and something that is constantly on our minds, a question that was amplified since the sanitary crisis of Covid 19. First, I should say that our values Competence, Passion and Inspiration have all senses especially during a period of crises. We were all involved for treating the patients despite our own stress in front of the pandemic. Furthermore, we need to continue our fantastic teamwork between all multidisciplinary team. This is one of our strengths to work closely with nephrologist, social assistant, dietitian, pharmacists and all the teams.

In term of focus improvement, the time we put in administrative tasks and traceability should be decreased in the future to give us back the time to spend with our patients. This could be possible with the help of technology and for example artificial intelligence, who will play a bigger role in our daily practices. If we project this on the world of dialysis it would be using connected machines in all clinics for all patients, automatic adaptation of treatments, the weight, registration of data, and so on. However, the time saved thanks to these developments should not used to free us up time to take care of our current patients.

In an ideal world, there would be recognition of delegated acts, at administrative and practical level, like for example therapeutic education for patients. We will apply more and more other/alternative/complementary forms of medicine like hypnosis and sophrology. We are convinced that we will work more with generalised protocols and standards, a thing we already apply within Diaverum policies. Not only will this be on a national level, but also international, like the same criteria for a degree, a training. The possibility to be able to work everywhere in Europe more easily as a nurse, no matter where you obtained your degree. The same goes for the rights to practice across borders, who are currently quite different, for example in Spain a nurse has the right to place a central catheter, intubate, make a blood gas,... Knowing that in France a nurse does not have the right to do so.

From the study “The nurse of the future”, led by MACSF in April 2018:

  • 91% of the nurses who were questioned think that by 2030 they will have more autonomy and responsibility, especially with the development of coordinating nurses who will make phone calls to the patients at home to catch up and see how they are doing after surgery. They will be in contact with the medical practitioner for the follow up of patient care at home.
  • 92% of the nurses think the coordination between hospital and the follow-up at home will take a big part in their daily tasks, and 89% think doctors will mostly delegate their tasks to the nurse.

Whatever the future of the nursing profession, one thing will never change: my job is the most beautiful in the world, and our number one priority is and will always be our patient.

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