When did you first start working in healthcare & where did you do your training?
I started my nursing training in 1985. I always knew I wanted to be a Nurse, even when I was little I dressed as a nurse and I have always been really caring. I think it is true that you have to be a certain type of person to do this job. You have to be really supportive and my whole career has been here.
When I was 18 I went to South Cumbria School of Nursing for training. My first position as a qualified nurse was on the children’s ward. and I have remained in children’s nursing ever since. I have been qualified for 28 years. Over that time, I have seen so many things change, both in my professional and personal life. Since being here I have also married and had children. I have stayed here the entire time. I love it!
What area do you live in and what are the benefits of living in that area?
I live in Barrow and it is a really friendly place. Where I live it takes only 5 minutes to travel to the countryside or the coast.
There are a lot of opportunities here. Personally, I am involved with the church and we organise events and social activities for the community as well as services. I also work with the young people there and meet once a month for fun activities and crafts.
What was it that you made you want to go into the profession you’re in now?
Like I said, I had always wanted to be a nurse. I did my placement in a children’s ward during my training and I have always liked children, I had also considered working in a primary school so it is clear that I always liked working with children. I used to babysit children in my teens too so when the post came up, it made sense to apply.
I love working with young people and families. I have gone from being a Staff Nurse to a Ward Manager and more recently became the matron in the last 12 months. I love being able to support the staff to ensure we provide high quality services to the children and families.
What was it about the University Hospitals of Morecambe Bay Trust that made you want to come and work here, and when did you start working for the Trust?
It was my local hospital and I did my nurse training here which I really enjoyed. The Trust invested in me and my training and I wanted to give something back.
The Trust and the hospital is extremely friendly and there is a great sense of community here. Everyone helps each other and you get the opportunity to work across the bay if you would like to, which is also really nice.
Overall, I would say the role is very challenging, but that is something I enjoy and it is so rewarding. I’ve worked my way up from Staff Nurse, Ward Manager to Matron. I love that my role is all about achieving safe services for the patients and that I work in a great team who ensure that high quality care is provided for our patients.
I am involved with the ‘better care together’ process and I am proud that the Trust and our hospital is looking forward. This is great for me as I can really understand how the Trust is developing which makes it a lot easier for me to pass this on to my staff.
What are the benefits of working at this Trust?
There are really good development opportunities here. The Trust offers great training and an amazing level of support. Not only is there a lot of mandatory training but you can also learn and train within other areas that you are interested in and the Trust encourages that.
I have done my management training and APLS training. I have also done my degree in Children, Young People and Family Studies, as well as my diploma in Nursing and Children training (I did these at the same time). And I was supported through doing all this via the Trust.
I have to say the Trust and the staff are all friendly and incredibly supportive. I work within a really good team and I get to work across the bay as well. I work within an absolutely amazing nursing team and it is part of my role to recruit these as well. The feedback I get from families is almost always positive and reinforces the fact that I know I have some great staff working with me and helping me to look after and care for our children. I also work within the cross bay management team and we all support each other too.
If you could choose 3 positive words to describe this Trust, what would they be?
If someone considering starting a career at this Trust, what would you say to them?
The first thing I would say is ‘go for it!’. Come work in a lovely hospital, with lovely people, in a lovely part of the world, within a lovely team!