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“I started my student nurse training at York Hospital in 1987. I qualified as registered general nurse in 1991 and my first staff nurse job was on a trauma orthopaedic ward. The transition from student nurse to staff nurse was scary! 

“My mum was an enrolled nurse and I wanted to follow in her footsteps. She told me lots of stories and made nursing sound so interesting and fun. I love working for the NHS because it allows me to make a difference to people’s lives when they need it the most and this is a privilege, and I love working with people and care about others. The NHS offers a diverse range of career prospects for all including careers for academics and non-academics. It embraces diversity and has pathways for those that seek a career in healthcare such as apprenticeships, with the number and range of these set to grow. 

“I’ve had various nursing roles in the Trust and have worked in orthopaedics, elderly medicine, risk management and community. Each time I moved wards, I sought promotion because in those days staff nurse posts were graded D or E. I worked as a ward sister, risk reviewer and trainer and as a matron. The trainer role was very different to hands on patient care, focusing on patient and staff safety. 

“In 2015 I moved to community services as an operational manager based at Selby War Memorial Hospital managing community nursing teams, a community response team, specialist nurses and in-patient community hospitals and out-patient departments. 

“I’ve had two career breaks to spend time with my children and have returned to full-time work after a year’s break. I’m an advocate of life-long learning and the NHS has supported to me undertake a Diploma in Health Studies, a BSc (Hons) in Health Care Practice and also an MSc in Healthcare Leadership. 

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed working in all the different roles I’ve had at York Hospital and moving to work in the community has changed my perspective on care. It’s really important we discharge patients from hospital to home as soon as possible. The longer they are an inpatient they are at risk of de-conditioning with loss of muscle, physical strength and functional ability as well as acquiring infections – home is best! 

“I love the diversity of my role and every day is different. The development of staff is my favourite part - supporting staff to grow in their role and the benefits that brings give me the feel good factor.

“One thing about working for the NHS is job satisfaction - going home feeling that I’ve made a positive difference to patients’ and staff lives. Also if I have completed my ‘to do’ list for the day or emptied my inbox I’m very happy!

“Since the first day I walked into York Hospital I have experienced so much and a lot has changed, particularly in diagnostics and treatment. Nursing has changed a lot too over the years, adapting to the needs of patients and taking on additional roles to support medical colleagues. We work at a faster pace where change is constant - there seems to be more of it and it’s rapid. Perhaps the speed of change has something with to do my age! 

“These days I don’t have direct contact with patients every day but I pledge to be kind and respectful towards my colleagues. I am mindful that we are all working together to ensure that patients have the best experience possible. It’s my role to create the environment that supports staff to deliver the standard of care required.”

21 September 2018

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