How long have you worked at RB&HH?
I have worked at Royal Brompton Hospital for nine years, starting here as a newly qualified nurse. My first role was in our paediatric cardiorespiratory ward, and I also rotated to our paediatric intensive care unit. Before applying for my current job as a paediatric electrophysiology nurse specialist, I was a deputy sister on the ward.
This new post is my first time being a nurse specialist. I’m proud to work in such a supportive team that constantly encourages us to push ourselves to learn and develop.
Can you describe what you do day-to-day?
Every day is totally different. Some days I am in the clinic where I help support families through a new inherited heart disease diagnosis or request further testing that could bring in more information about how we can improve the management of their condition.
Sometimes, I speak to schools, nurseries, or colleges to discuss care plans for a patient enrolled with them or talk about a patient’s specific condition and treatment. Often, I am on the phone with patients and their families, answering any questions they have or talking through new concerning symptoms. I still learn something new every day at work, and I love it! Further learning is so important to me to continue to help better educate and advise patients and their families.
What do you like most about your job?
When I first started at Royal Brompton Hospital nine years ago, my Dad suffered an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest at home. I was at home with him and performed CPR until paramedics arrived. Luckily, I still have my Dad here today, healthy and well.
From being in the position of a patient’s relative, I know that being thrown into the world of healthcare can be scary and daunting. I want to be able to support patients and their families at times where they may feel at their most vulnerable, as I was nine years ago. It taught me the importance of bystander CPR and the importance of having a supportive medical and nursing team around me!
As soon as I saw the job for an electrophysiology nurse specialist, I knew it was the job for me. I wanted to guide and support families, sometimes on stressful and scary days. Creating meaningful relationships with families is the highlight of my career.
Why did you decide to work in healthcare?
I always knew I wanted to help, whether animals or humans. Nursing seemed perfect. I love being able to interact with families and help guide them through what can be some of the most stressful, but sometimes the happiest, times of their lives. There are patients that I have seen grow up over time, and I love seeing them thrive.
What did you want to be when you were younger?
I bounced around between many different career options. I went from wanting to be a vet one day and a marine biologist the next. When you’re a teenager, it’s hard to make these decisions!
I am so glad that I chose to enter the nursing field. The opportunities are endless, and there are so many different career routes and specialties out there to discover. You can make a significant difference in people’s lives – that is what I love.