In his 60 seconds interview, Chris Monkhouse - Chief Cardiac Physiologist at St Bartholomew's Hospital, tells us about the patient information leaflets he's created, the impact they're having Trust-wide, and how it feels to have won 'Star of the Year 2018'.
What's your job title / when did you start in that role?
I have been a Chief Cardiac Physiologist since 2016. I began my Barts career post-merger in Aug 2015.
What does your job involve?
My job is focused in Cardiac Rhythm Management, with cardiac devices and electrophysiology (EP). The job entails assisting the cardiologist at implant and independently following patients up for all different types of devices. EP physiologists also work closely with the Electrophysiologists to help diagnose and treat patients' arrhythmias in the EP lab.
What attracted you to this area of work?
I have a cardiac device myself, which is what first attracted me to this area of work... and my passion for it has grown ever since!
In what way does your role help patients?
Being involved in cardiac device implants, and electrophysiology studies. In outpatient clinic we optimise the device to suit patient’s individual needs, to improve their symptoms and quality of life.
You recently won ‘Star of the Year' at SBH... Tell us more about the booklets you created, which led to your award.
In late 2016, there was discussion within the physiology team about the need for specific booklets for our centre. I decided to take this project on and produce a patient booklet for each individual device that we implant. After countless drafts of 7 different booklets (49-56 versions), the booklets were published along with a business card style ‘shock card’ for ICD patients.
The booklets have been in circulation since March 2018 and are used Trust-wide for cardiac device implants. Approximately 1500 booklets have been given out already.
From patients we have seen in follow-up, it seems the booklets are proving useful to improve the knowledge base our patients have about their own devices.
How does it feel being SBH ‘Star of the Year 2018’?
It's a great honour to have won 'Star of the Year' as there were some fantastic individuals and teams nominated who have provided sterling and innovative care at St Bartholomew's throughout the year.
Winning the award has been the cherry on the top for this project.
What do you consider the biggest challenge in your area of work?
Our staffing shortages are certainly a big challenge, but I think our biggest challenge is making sure we are engaging our patients in their care and treating complex problems.
Who is your role model?
My role model has to be my mentor Dee (Deirdre) Harrington, Principal Cardiac Physiologist. Her work ethic and personable qualities are what I aspire to.
What is your proudest career achievement so far?
Publishing my first peer-reviewed article at the beginning of this year in PACE - I had been working on it for over a year. It was fantastic for it to finally happen!
How would you spend an ideal day off?
Ideally, I would be on a mountain somewhere with loads of snow. That doesn’t happen here much!
Tell us something surprising about yourself...
I do the "best” Scottish accent in the Cath lab... (I won an award for that as well!)