Can you tell us something about yourself?
I'm married with two children aged 18 and 20. I love the outdoors and walking my dog.
Why did you choose nursing as a career?
It was either nursing or the police. I applied to be a Wren in the Navy but they closed the list at the time of my application. I applied to Sheffield School of Nursing and started new project 2000 in January 1990.
Can you tell us something about your nursing life before St Luke’s?
I qualified in December 1992 and worked on a surgical ward for 10 years before leaving to work as a community nurse out of hours and practise nurse.
Why did you decide to apply for a job at St Luke’s?
The majority of my work as a community nurse was end of life care. I had also worked for 6 months as a McMillian nurse during my surgical career. Community Palliative care nurse was my dream job. I applied and had a very tough Interview and was very surprised to be offered a Community palliative care Job in 2008.
How is being a nurse at St Luke’s different to any other nursing post?
It can be a very challenging area to work in. Palliative care is not for everyone but I find it extremely rewarding. I have learnt so much over the 12 years I have been here and still feel there is lots more to learn. There has always been lots of opportunity to develop and learn. Every day is a different day. In the community you never knew what you were going to be faced with. This has really challenged me but also given me the self-confidence to stretch myself professionally to be the Director of care. When I first started my nursing career I never wanted to be a manager. Being at St Luke’s has given me this opportunity.
What is the thing you enjoy most about being part of the St Luke’s team?
I love the fact that St Luke’s never stands still. It is constantly striving to provide the best care possible. Being here 12 years I have been able to be part of so many changes and now as Director of Care I feel it is a real privilege to be one of the people making the changes. All the teams are so supportive and passionate about the care they give. Nothing is ever too much trouble. I have had family members under the care of St Luke’s so I have experienced first-hand what a difference St Luke’s can make to patients and families.
What are the specific challenges of working in palliative care?
Dealing with death and dying can be difficult. Every patient and their family's experience can be very different. The work can be unpredictable but for me that has always been part of the attraction. It's really satisfying to know you are able to make a difference in someone’s care at the end of life.
Have you acquired any new skills during your time at St Luke’s?
I've been given lots of opportunities from becoming a non-medical prescriber and examiner to management training. St Luke’s is always willing to invest in a staff member's learning and development.
What sort of things do you do to help you relax away from the job?
Family, friends, wine, the outdoors, gardening...