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An introduction to Silvija Sutkutė, Lithuania’s second Queen Silvia Nursing Award scholar

I chose to become a nurse with utmost responsibility. I analyzed my inner desires, abilities and possibilities. I realized that I wanted to help people on a daily basis. I chose nursing studies because nurses are closest to people, and they are the first to notice changes in a patient’s health, and can provide help. It is a very meaningful profession. And that is what fascinates me the most.

I also like the work of a nurse because you can choose a flexible work schedule and different working environment. There is also a wide range of career opportunities - you can choose a clinical career, explore the path of a researcher, or become a lecturer.

I would recommend nursing to people who want diversity in their lives. In doing this job, every day is different. There are good days, there are bad ones. But when you see an improvement in a person's health, a widening smile - every day becomes amazing.

I am currently not only working, but also studying advanced nursing practice at the primary health care level. This is a master's study program at the Lithuanian University of Health Sciences. I chose these studies because I want to stay closer to clinical procedures and closer to the patient. These studies allow nurses to deepen the knowledge of clinical pharmacology, and increase the knowledge of health assessment and management of urgent and chronic conditions. I am particularly interested in this field of study because it is not focused on the routine performance of tasks, but on the patient himself. I hope to use all the knowledge gained during my studies in a working environment.

In the future, I would very much like to go on a business trip abroad so that I may compare the Lithuanian health system with other countries. I dream that in 10 years I will have accumulated enough knowledge to be able to pass it onto nursing students. I see myself as a leader in advanced nursing practice, where I will have my patients and can help them stay in good health, noticing any potential health problems along the way.

I started my working career during the pandemic. I wanted to stay strong, to accept the lost opportunities of life. I had a goal to go to work where I could learn as much as possible. I chose to work in the endocrinology department, in the diabetology sector. This was my first job. Although I used to tell myself that I would never go to such a department to work, I realized that I had to go beyond my comfort to achieve what I wanted. I have learned a lot in the field of diabetes through the wonderful team working there.

As the number of patients with COVID19 increased, a new ward opened in our hospital. I went to work there and the first days were especially hard. This unit treats severe patients of various profiles. We worked protected by layers of PPE, hour after hour, without water or time to go to the toilet. There was also enormous emotional strain when you witnessed the seriousness of the virus! After each round, we too were afraid of infection and the risk of bringing the virus home to our loved ones.

After a while, working conditions improved, we had more time to rest, to get water, to recover after work. As the number of covid-19 patients decreased, I started looking for another job. I chose to work in a family medical clinic. That was another big challenge for me. I had to work with patients of all ages who report a variety of health problems. But the colleagues and the dynamic work helped me integrate into the team. I was soon offered a job in the thoracic surgery department. Today, I am very pleased that I have accepted the proposal. The team is great and the work is engaging.

For people who are considering a future in nursing, I would advise you take a closer look at the day-to-day working environment as much as possible; perhaps even volunteer at a hospital. This would make the decision more reality based. You can get a sense of whether you can relate to a future of care and patient work.

Life also fascinates me with the fact that something unexpected and very pleasant can always happen. Participating in QSNA is one such case in my life. At the university, I heard about the Queen Silvia Nursing Award in Sweden. I am glad that such honorable initiatives are reaching Lithuania! And I am grateful to Addere Care for organizing this competition of ideas in Lithuania. I decided to take part in the competition on the last evening of submitting ideas and applications. I suggested creating an app that could help reduce social exclusion. This app can improve patients ’quality of life and slightly reduce the workload of nurses. I will make this app a reality because I believe it is really needed in our society.


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