Working life: Audrey Kearns, Cardiac Services Manager, Beacon Hospital

Audrey Kearns

We offer same day appointments to patients who are experiencing chest pain, palpitations, uncontrolled hypertension and shortness of breath.

Audrey Kearns, Cardiac Services Manager, Beacon Hospital, Sandyford.

5.30am

I commute from Carlow, hence the early start. My husband Tom leaves around 6am and I’m on the road as soon as our wonderful childminder, Clare, arrives to take care of our 15-month-old daughter Méabh. 

I’ve been commuting for over a decade and journey times have worsened by the year.

8am

I meet with managers from the different cardiac departments: Rapid Access Cardiology Clinic, cardiology cath lab and non-invasive department , where tests include echocardiogram (a test that uses sound waves to create images of your heart), stress testing, heart and blood pressure monitoring. 

I ensure the department has all the equipment required to provide these services. I also discuss activity planned for the Rapid Access Clinic and the cath lab. 

We examine the acuity of the patients and procedures they are due to undergo.

9am

After joining the Beacon in 2014, I set up the Rapid Access Clinic. I invest a lot of time in making sure it operates in a timely and effective manner. 

We offer patients referred by their GP a ‘one stop’ shop for cardiac assessments. We offer same day appointments to patients who are experiencing chest pain, palpitations, uncontrolled hypertension and shortness of breath. 

We also have same day access to our Cath lab and the patient will see a consultant cardiologist on the day with their test results.

11am

I head to the cath lab to look at planning the patient workload. We need to ensure the workflow is managed effectively so everyone has access to a bed when they need it. 

We have seven recovery beds and 15-20 patients coming through. I’m currently facilitating a multimillion euro upgrade to the cath lab suite.

1pm

I have lunch before catching up on admin.

2pm

I compile operational reports for the different cardiac departments. I also help with forward planning and liaise with managers around next-day schedules. 

The cardiology service has grown rapidly in the past two years, with nearly 10,000 patients treated in 2016.

4pm

I steel myself for the traffic and drive home, eagerly anticipating seeing my little girl. Downtime revolves largely around rugby. 

We are season ticket holders at Thomond Park supporting Munster at home and abroad. Tom and I met at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand.


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