31 March 2020

The World Health Organization (WHO) has designated 2020 as the 'Year of the Nurse and Midwife', in honour of the 200th birth anniversary of Florence Nightingale.

Throughout the year, we will be offering an insight into nursing here at Royal Papworth Hospital and the different nursing careers available, celebrating the skill and diversity of our staff, by featuring one nurse each month.

For March, we spent time with registered nurse Eamonn Gorman, who now works in our digital team. Nursing is built into Eamonn’s DNA; his family has built a legacy within the profession going back more than a century. 

Name: Eamonn Gorman    
Job title: Chief Nursing Information Officer

How long have you worked at Royal Papworth Hospital? 
Nineteen years.

When and where did you train for your nursing degree?
I trained at the University of Surrey for my diploma and Anglia Ruskin University for my post-graduate degree. 

Why did you want to become a nurse? 
It’s the family business. I have two sisters and a brother who are nurses, and my parents and grandparents were all nurses. We have a continuous line of nursing going back more than 100 years. 

What other hospitals have you worked at?
None – only Royal Papworth. Like many other people I came to get six months experience and loved it so I’m still here, nearly two decades later!

What other jobs have you had? 
I have been an ALERT nurse (responding to in-hospital emergencies), a matron and a staff nurse both on critical care and the Respiratory Support and Sleep Centre before my current role. Before nursing I did electronics at university and have always had an interest in tech and gadgets.

What does your job involve? What are your main responsibilities? 
As chief nursing information officer, I aim to be the voice of nursing in the digital space and help the digital team understand the needs of my nursing colleagues. It’s also useful to be a translator and convert ‘techie’ speak back in English for the nurses. 

What makes your role different? As CNIO, you must have to have a particular blend of skills? 
Without clinical guidance it doesn’t take long for the technology to drive how we work instead of the other way round. You cannot solely rely on a medic to provide the input because then you are ignoring the largest group of staff in the organisation: nurses. That is why it is vital to have a CNIO.

How does being a trained nurse help you in your role? 
Every nurse needs to be part-informatics these days and understand digital systems. Like all within healthcare, our profession needs to use technology to provide care. In many ways I represent every nurse’s interest within the digital space, both within the trust and nationally. 

My particular skills that help me with the role include having experience in a variety of care settings and having an organisational knowledge of who to ask for guidance about how different areas of the hospital work to ensure digital supports, rather than disrupts, care.

Tell us one interesting fact about yourself… 
I am the youngest of 13 children.

What do you love most about nursing? And you current role? 
I love making a difference to people when they are most in need, and I also love the challenge of pushing our systems to drive patient safety. 

Most people think of nurses/nursing as being on the front line, looking after patients. Do you miss this part of the job? 
Yes, the best job in the world is looking after patients on a daily basis. But by taking different roles, and sometimes roles away from being patient-facing, we can achieve results together. 

How has the profession changed over the years?
Technology has changed so much of what we do already within healthcare and particularly for nurses, but we are only at the start of this digital revolution. How we deliver care is going to change so much in the next few years, so it is even more important for nursing to be engaged with digital technology.

What three words would you use to describe nursing? 
Caring. Compassionate. Centre (we as nurses are central to all that happens to a patient in their health journey, supporting them every step of the way).

<< February: Marian Vidal Bermudez, Trainee Surgical Care Practitioner