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Lead Nurse, Division of Surgery, Wythenshawe Hospital

On a typical day

I start work between 7.00 and 8.00am at the Lead Nurse Office. My day usually begins by scanning emails and finding out if there were any concerns or issues within the Division overnight which require urgent attention. I’ll usually check in with the Matrons who work within the Division to see if they are OK, if we have staffing or safety concerns and what if anything needs to be done to support safe patient care. There are a large number of meetings to attend through the day and I meet a huge number of people. I try to go to the wards every day to see and speak with as many people as I can.

My nursing journey and career

I had great fun in my training which was in Carlisle in Cumbria. I loved all the areas I worked in but my heart was in surgery. When I qualified in1987 I decided to move to Manchester for six months – and I’m still here. After five years in Casualty at Withington I headed to Liverpool for a year to undertake the Accident and Emergency course. I’d always had a passion for education so jumped at the chance to become a Practice Development Nurse, introducing lots of advanced roles in A&E such as triage, nurse generated x-rays and trauma care.

While helping to introduce the Assistant Practitioner and Advanced Practitioner roles across Wythenshawe, I studied for my Masters degree in Leadership at Bolton University. A Practice Educator role in Medicine and Corporate Lead Nurse job followed, and then I moved back into an operational role as Lead Nurse in Surgery. This is a huge job – I’m learning every day, working with an inspiring team of nurses.

One way I’ve made a difference as a nurse or midwife

I hope I share my knowledge, tips and skills to enable others to learn and grow. I’ve made a difference to thousands of people’s lives – from the baby who was delivered way before it was due on my night duty, to the families I have sat with for many hours whose loved ones were taken from them far too soon.

What would you say to someone considering a career in nursing & midwifery?

I would say do it……..because you love people and want to make a difference to another person’s life. Do it if you know that it is an honour and a privilege to care for a patient at a time when they are at their most vulnerable.

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