#DYWKeyworker - Charlie Bloe - Senior Charge Nurse - NHS
Friday, 29th May 2020
Name: Charlie Bloe
Job Title: Clinical Ward Manager in the Coronary Care Unit, Raigmore Hospital.
Also Clinical Lead for Charles Bloe Training Limited
Company: NHS Highlands
Hometown: from Falkirk, Stirlingshire
What attracted you to the industry you are in?
I ended up doing nursing by default! I’d enrolled at the University of Edinburgh to study Psychology and did Forensic Medicine as part of my degree. From there I developed more of an interest in healthcare and switching to the Nursing Studies degree programme at Year 2 seemed like a logical step to take.
How long have you been with the company?
I graduated in 1984 and have been in NHS Highland for the last 12 years. I took almost 10 years out of the NHS to work on a consultancy basis and during that time established my own healthcare training company, Charles Bloe Training Limited. After 28 years the business was taken on by a colleague Mandy Calder last August although I still remain as Clinical Lead for the Company
Describe your day-to-day role;
I have overall responsibility for the CCU nursing team and also line manage a number of cardiac specialist nurse posts such as the chest pain services. Although the majority of my shifts are non caseload I do undertake an in depth review of every patient each day. Training, educating and developing clinical skills among the staff is a key component of my daily role. I’m a great believer that most of the learning that we do is through everyday interaction with our patients
What kind of training have you done?Have you completed any professional qualifications?
I graduated from the University of Edinburgh in 1984 from one of the first cohorts of ‘graduate nurses’ in Scotland. A few years later I completed my Critical Care qualifications in Cardiac, Renal and Respiratory disease. I’m also a qualified District Nurse although have never practised in that area of nursing.
What skills have you learned?
In terms of clinical skills I like to think that I have real expertise in cardiac nursing and in ECG interpretation skills. I have always loved teaching and have been fortunate enough to have an ability to impart my knowledge in a way that others can understand. I have developed a suite of over 50 award winning online clinical training courses and deliver ‘The ECG Demystified’ 2-day workshop to healthcare professionals across the UK and beyond. To date almost 20,000 healthcare staff have attended this workshop across the UK, Ireland, Gibraltar and the USA. I was privileged to be invited to deliver it to a team of advanced Paramedics in Sydney, Australia last summer.
Have you completed any professional qualifications?
I did my Critical Care qualifications early in my career
Do you like living and working in the Inverness & Highlands?
Very much. We are blessed with the most amazing natural environment and the quality of life up here is first class. I’ve worked in most cardiac centres across the UK on a consultancy basis and can honestly say that Raigmore’s CCU is the best of them! As we are so geographically isolated there is a requirement for us to be more autonomous. I’ve always found the team here to be very innovative and forward thinking.
What skills are the most important for you to do your job well?
People management! I work in a busy, fast changing and often stressful workplace. My nurses need to be all that they can be and nurturing them to do so is the key component of my job
Was there anything about the job that surprised you?
I’ve been in this career for a long time and nothing really surprises me. The NHS and nursing in particular experience the same issues that every major workplace does. Self interest and territorial attitudes are seen most days but again that isn’t exclusive to the health service.
Is there anything unusual about your role?
There aren’t too many cardiac nurses that have managed to combine a clinical career with running a successful independent training company. My senior charge nurse role is also a little unusual as I have line management responsibilities for a wider group of nurse specialists that are providing services out with CCU.
Do you get a lot of support from your company?
Yes I do. I don’t crave accolades or seek support too often. However it is there from my own line management team if required. They let me run my dept autonomously and that is really important to me. The support I get from my ward team is exceptional. We share a joint vision for our department
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Seeing staff come in to our CCU and flourish is the most satisfying element of my job. It is difficult to recruit nurses with ‘off the shelf’ cardiac skills and knowledge in NHS Highland. We see our staff as long term investments so we recruit those with the key personal skills and then invest heavily in their CPD. Having a group of staff that see themselves as having a career in cardiology rather than just a job in CCU is essential.
Did you always want to pursue a career in this industry?
I wasn’t very good at Maths and Physics at school and always had a leaning towards biology and other life sciences. It was probably therefore inevitable that my career path would mirror those abilities
What is your advice for young school leavers looking to start an apprenticeship?
View your work as a career and not just a job. Be relentless in your pursuit of excellence – and remember that complacency is a disease
What is your career goal?
I’m nearing the end of my clinical career. I feel a real sense of pride in what I have achieved and get great satisfaction that my underlying work ethic has helped me achieve what I have
How does it feel to be a KeyWorker on the frontline, supporting the Country’s fight against Covid-19?
I’m not one to revel in things and don’t seek plaudits for doing my job. Covid has been challenging although much less so in the Highlands than elsewhere. I actually cringe when I see nurses portrayed as ‘heroes’! We do a brilliant job all of the time and if Covid has done one thing it has been to shine a light on those efforts that have often been overlooked in the past. As a cardiac nurse I’ve always been a key worker. I’m proud to have helped people come through one of the most vulnerable episodes in their lives.