Nutrition – Sarah Brownlie

Sarah Brownlie-Trainee advanced practitioner-Dietetics

Sarah is a Nutrition Vascular Access Specialist Nurse working in an Acute Hospital setting and doing community visits, to prevent hospital admissions where possible. She works in a dual role, covering Practical and Parental Nutrition, and is joint lead for the Vascular Access team, She is currently doing the final year of her Level 7 Advanced Practice Apprenticeship.

Sarah works at Level 7 across the four pillars of
advanced practice

Clinical– Insertion of Vascular Access Devices and Enteral feeding tubes
– Assessment, insertion & replacement of Enteral Feeding devices
– Assessments and prescription of Parental Nutrition Prescriptions
Leadership– Joint Lead for Vascular Access service
– Writing hospital policy within the speciality
– Line management
– Health and wellbeing advocate
– I lead by example with all training and education
Education– Responsible for education, competency assessments & ongoing support for Enteral Feeding devices, Parental Nutrition and Central Venous Access education throughout the hospi
– Education for patients using feeding devices.
Research– Research of NGPOD for launch into Hospita
– Research into Vascular Access, such as assessing the need for midlines and ultrasound guide cannulation
– Keep up with national & international guidance relating to speciality

Why did you want to become an advanced practitioner?

I saw the advanced practice apprenticeship as a great opportunity to grow and develop as a practitioner. Many parts of my existing job role crossed the 4 pillars of Advance Practice, but I needed more theoretical, physical assessment and research knowledge at Level 7 which my university modules have provided. I strongly believe the skills and knowledge gained through my advanced practice training will benefit my patients. As well as improve the safety and speed of our service.

What are you enjoying most about your advanced practice training?

I have been extremely fortunate to be supported by my close team to attend university. I am an apprentice so have 20% of my working time off the job to learn and enhance my knowledge. It has been wonderful to explore other area’s I wouldn’t normally get time to visit, such as a pharmacy trip to learn how it all works.

Feedback from a patient “I had a stroke 4 months ago, it affected my swallow and I had to have a feeding tube fitted. I certainly didn’t like the idea of having my food this way! I’ve been lucky to have had fabulous support from Sarah and the team who took time to listen to my needs. I think it’s important to have correct help and support”

How does Advanced Practice benefit patient care?

Advanced Practitioners are able to improve safety for our patients and therefore provide a streamline service with their specialist skills. As an advanced practitioner I follow many patients through their entire journey with us. For example, in the Nutrition Team I can assess the patient, insert the appropriate feeding device, prescribe the correct nutrition and then manage their daily ongoing assessment alongside my fantastic team. I also treat complications related to feeding devices and educate Patients regarding their health and how to use the devices themselves.

I am the joint lead for the Vascular Access team, a fully Nurse led service which is having a positive impact, benefitting patients throughout the hospital and enabling patients on long term antibiotics to receive treatment at home and avoid a hospital visit.

How do you see your future as an Advanced Practitioner?

I am aware that I am still a trainee at the moment. I am looking forward to qualifying and continuing to learn more throughout her career.

Feedback from a colleague “Dietetic Colleague “Sarah is always looking for innovative ways to work and teach. A very supportive person who happily shares her passion and wide knowledge”

Want to hear more from Sarah?

Listen to episode 12 of our South West Advanced Practice Podcast, which explores the development of advanced practice in complex nutrition support. You can find all our podcasts here.

Read more advanced practice case studies from the South West region here