What is your current role and what does it involve?
I am a specialist Advanced nurse practitioner. I lead a team of Breast care nurses and Advanced Nurse practitioners in the diagnosis and ongoing care of patients with Breast cancer.
I work autonomously in Breast clinics, taking a history, examining, referring for investigations and giving results of all breast investigations. I work alongside the breast surgeons in theatres as required and undertake nurse-led clinics as well.
My leadership role is to take the team forward in providing services for Breast Cancer patients with care, not only at the time of diagnosis, but also to support and educate beyond diagnosis and treatment.
Why did you choose to do the job you do now?
I have worked in Breast cancer care since 1999.
I progressed from a staff nurse, to a ward sister and thereafter a Breast care specialist Nurse.
In 2009 I became the first Breast Specialist Advanced Nurse practitioner and set up the service as we see it today. I have trained four more nurses to undertake the role and I enjoy working in the clinics and being a mentor and adviser to the rest of the team.
It is good to be able to reassure most patients that they are well, but also being able to deliver bad news with care and understanding is of utmost importance.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
My role is different every day of the week. Being a specialist in my field, I feel I can give the patients the most up to date information and support available. Building up a rapport with patients who are very anxious and helping them to come to terms with their diagnosis and treatment, is very rewarding .
What training have you had and how has your career progressed?
For my current role, I have been supported through a post graduate BSc Honours degree in cancer Care, I also have done Modules in Advanced Breast care practice at MSc level. Communication courses and in house training led me to competency in sitting clinics.
In order to assist in theatres I did a post graduate module to become a surgical First assistant.
I have also taken part in a leadership course as part of UHL leadership academy.
What motivates you most about working at Leicester’s Hospitals?
The Trust engages well with both patients and staff alike. We have strong Trust values to work by and we are well supported in our roles.
Innovation is actively encouraged and rewarded.
What are the best things about Leicestershire and the surrounding area?
Leicester is one of the most multicultural cities in the UK and offers a wide array of festivals, food and culture for everyone to enjoy. There is also a selection of beautiful parks including Bradgate Park, where you can see deer roam freely.
What would you say to people thinking about joining Leicester’s Hospitals?
Leicestershire is central to all motorways and transport links.
It has a vibrant and multicultural city centre. The surrounding areas have places of interest to visit. I have lived in Leicestershire all my life.
For people thinking about joining Leicester Hospitals what would you say to them?
I have worked in Leicester hospitals for 33 years and have progressed to a very high level in nursing practice.
I have been supported and encourage throughout my career by the Trust.
I would recommend joining the Trust to anyone.