Viki Jenkins

Heart Failure Advanced Nurse Practitioner, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Gwynedd.

‘When I was awarded the Richard Tompkins Scholarship in June 2018 I couldn’t have imagined the full extent of the impact this honour would have for me both professionally and personally. The week residential practice development international summer school encouraged me to look at how I impact on a team and what my objectives are. By doing this I was able to become more aware of how my preconceptions might impact on the team and patients I work with. By being more self-aware I am more aware of different influences on my colleagues, patients and their relatives. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still learning and I don’t always get it right but some of the tools and skills learned during the residential week help me to work through challenges.

The ongoing mentorship relationship has been an amazing experience which has challenged, encouraged and opened opportunities through growth and networking. My mentor has been so open, sharing, encouraging and generous of herself that I have gained more than I anticipated. Debbie has encouraged me to critically look at what I want to achieve and how it can be achieved, and the regular meetings give me a focus to keep me on track whilst managing my busy work life and home life.

I feel that I am more aware of my impact in various situations. I feel I have more tools to call on to support my colleagues and patients as well as develop services. I can tend to rush into solutions and through the scholarship and everything that is encompassed with it I am learning to pause and be patient and reflect before jumping in. I do forget to do that sometimes but the experience of the week residential school has made such an impression that it has stayed with me and I soon realise when I need to come back and draw on the skills I discovered at the residential school.

Another unexpected experience following the scholarship has been the open respect and engagement from other professionals when they hear about the fact that I was awarded this scholarship. People from all sectors have contacted me and I have lots of new and exciting plans developing with people I would never of had the opportunity to work with.

To quote one of the amazing facilitators, who I had the privilege to learn from and work with at the residential school, my mantra in life is now ‘Trust the Process’.’