I joined Angels because this project has the sense of purpose I was looking for.
On my first day with Angels, which was National Stroke Day, I attended a regional meeting where hospitals shared some of their concerns regarding stroke indicators and participated in an open discussion on how to improve them.
The most rewarding moment of my journey so far was feeling that the message was getting out there and that stroke care is improving with small changes. Public interventions can motivate change and create a sense of movement toward a goal. Every time a team wants to work with Angels or is interested in improving stroke pathway is a gratifying moment.
It took a lot of courage to change my professional pathway to something new. For many years, I was focused on oncological disease. Changing to stroke care meant leaving my comfort zone for a project that inspired me.
The most important thing I have learnt so far is the power of small changes. Small changes, when consistent, are the beginning of new habits.
One skill I have found unexpectedly useful is my social awareness or empathy because it helps me to understand different realities and keep an open mind when looking for a solution.
The past three months would have been much harder without the support of the Angels Initiative team! Sharing my experiences with them and listening to theirs is a great way to learn.
What I hope to accomplish next is to improve the bridges between hospitals and EMS within the same region. A solid regional network can make all the difference. It saves time and allows good information flow, which is crucial for the adequate treatment of stroke patients.
The opportunity to leave my legacy is to help hospitals and stroke teams provide the best care to stroke patients. The conditions might not be perfect, but our responsibility is to organise our resources and improve patient lives.
Inês’s 3-month milestones
- Observing the stroke pathway and learning about the challenges stroke teams face
- Meeting stroke teams who are ambitious and open to change
- Giving a presentation at a national meeting about the importance of quality monitoring and sharing results of Portugal’s monitoring programme, Melhora Quem Sabe.
- Arranging a post-acute simulation training with Aveiro University.