The Bedrock of the Medical Team
The medical centre, where the Castle Craig nurses are based, is operational round the clock, 365 days a year.
“They are the first port of call, they are the constant at Castle Craig,” explains Nell Laing, the nursing consultant at Castle Craig. “The first thing they do in the morning is the medication round. The night nurse starts it and the day nurse finishes it. They make sure that all of the patients are accounted for.”
“There has to be a nurse in the medical centre at all times, so the patients can go and speak to somebody if they are worried, if there is a medical problem or if they just want to ask anything.”
Working in a Team
The nurses work within Castle Craig’s team of doctors, therapists and psychiatrists. They attend the multidisciplinary meetings every morning and update the rest of the team on each patient’s state of health.
“Nurses are observers”, adds Nell. “Because they are on duty 24 hours a day they are able to say if the patient is progressing, if they’re deteriorating, and if the treatment is working.”
Helping Patients With Detox
Detoxification, the first stage of treatment, can be a very difficult process and the nurses have an essential role in ensuring that patients are well taken care of during this period. On arrival, patients can be extremely nervous if they don’t know what to expect, and they may also be physically unwell.
The nurses provide 24-hour monitoring of patients in the intensive care unit. They observe each patient very closely. Their aim is to make sure they are as comfortable as possible and they don’t suffer from unnecessary withdrawal symptoms.
Nurses are the main support in helping patients settle into their new, drug-free environment; acquainting them with the treatment programme and generally guiding them along the way on their journey to recovery.
Some of the nurses at Castle Craig also have special training: we have an aromatherapist, an acupuncturist, a specialised mental health nurse and one another member of the nursing staff is trained in Equine Assisted Therapy.
The Rewards of Nursing in a Rehab Clinic
Nell Laing explains how nursing at Castle Craig is quite different from other nursing jobs: “For 40 years I worked in the health service and they [the patients] could only really come in, get detoxed and go back out again. We kept getting the patients coming back. At Castle Craig the nurses get to know the patient very well and I often think they are like a sort of sister or mother/father figure.”
Some of the nurses consider addiction nursing one of the greatest forms of medical care. The patients who come in are often sick, nervous, anxious and very closed, and the nurses observe them becoming more and more confident. They see them blossom both physically and mentally.
When the disease of addiction is peeled away from a patient, the real personality seems to emerge and that is a real privilege to see. You don’t get that in many other forms of nursing.
Castle Craig Hospital is a centre of excellence for the treatment of addictions located in the Scottish Borders close to Edinburgh. Castle Craig is a medically managed treatment centre.
We are always looking to hear from applicants for Staff Nurse and Bank Nurse positions, preferably with experience in drug and alcohol treatment or psychiatric experience, self-motivated with a genuine interest in this challenging field of practice.
The hospital operates a monthly rota of 12.5 hourly shift patterns for which we offer a competitive salary, plus additional rates for weekend and evening shifts. Free parking and free meals are available to all staff and if required, short term accommodation for those who are relocating.
To apply for the current vacancy, please complete our online application form.
Closing date for applications: 9th December 2016
If you are interested in nursing jobs in a residential addiction treatment setting and would like to be considered for such positions when they become available, please send us your CV via our Speculative Enquiries Form on our Careers page.