Nurse Kim will lead Paralympic nursing team to Tokyo
Wednesday 11th August 2021
Kim Brinkworth, senior nurse at Queen Victoria Hospital, is flying out to Tokyo to take on a very special role – leading a team of nurses supporting the ParalympicsGB athletes.
She is one of five nurses who are part of the sport and medicine team, working alongside doctors, physiotherapists, nutritionists, sports psychologists and other professionals. Together they will run a performance centre for GB athletes, as well as providing support at the preparation camps, in the Paralympic village and virtually via PC or phone.
Kim explains: “Just being involved is exciting and it’s a real privilege to be there. For the Paralympians it’s a chance of a lifetime and they have been training for so long to get to this point. They put in so much so we need to do as much as we can to support them. We’ve all been waiting with baited breath to see how the Olympics went and now it’s over to us to get everything ready for the Paralympics which has been such a long time in the making.”
No stranger to the Paralympics, this will be Kim’s fourth games, having led the nursing team at Rio in 2016 and now in Tokyo. But just as the athletes have been focusing on their preparations, so have the nursing team. Kim explains: “A tremendous amount of planning goes into any games but the pandemic has brought a new set of challenges. Last March we visited Tokyo to do some checks, expecting to fly out that August, but then COVID happened. All of our equipment is still there waiting for us, and we’ve been making sure that’s all remained in date and upping supplies where necessary. We’ll also be taking some extra items with us.”
Just as the athletes will be putting their training to the limits, Kim and her team are preparing themselves for, well, anything and everything. She explains: “Whilst the athletes are the fittest versions of themselves, the change of environment, time zone and unexpected injuries or illnesses means we need to take on the spot decisions and adapt. You could be assisting someone with personal care in the morning and the next minute accompanying someone who’s had a stroke. Unsurprisingly we’re also doing a lot of COVID tests to ensure we’re fit and well to go.”
But whilst she’s away Kim’s QVH colleagues won’t be far from her thoughts. “I couldn’t do this without the support of my colleagues and the nursing management who have enabled me to take up this opportunity.”
Nicky Reeves, interim director of nursing at Queen Victoria Hospital, said: “We are delighted and proud that Kim will be leading the nursing team supporting the ParalympicsGB athletes. It is a fantastic chance for Kim to use her skills and be part of something special. Whilst she is away our tight-knit nursing team will continue to ensure our patients receive the highest level of care too. We look forward to hearing all about it when she’s back.”
For more information contact the QVH Press Office at firstname.lastname@example.org.