We talk to David Chaney, lecturer in nursing/subject partnership manager at the University of Ulster, who has been a nurse for 20 years.
Why did you become a nurse?
I had always wanted to care for people and had been heavily involved in first aid with the Irish Red Cross.
Where did you train?
Barnet College of Nursing and Midwifery in north London.
What was your first job in nursing?
A community staff nurse.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I would say my ability to procrastinate over jobs I do not like (such as paperwork). I sometimes put those jobs off whereas if I completed them at the time it would be easier.
From whom have you learnt most in your nursing career?
The first person who comes to mind was one of my first clinical nurse managers. Her style of management and leadership has inspired me to be just like her. She was fair but firm, approachable and always had the best interests of both her patients and staff at heart.
We need to increase the amount of multidisciplinary working to ensure care is not disjointed for patients
What advice would you give someone starting out?
There will be many days that you will find challenging but, so long as you can go home knowing you tried your best to provide the highest standard of care within your remit, you will have done well. Also, never be afraid to ask questions and challenge poor practice.
What keeps you awake?
Sometimes the dog barking.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Seeing the people I have had the privilege to teach excel in their field of practice.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Last year I was awarded the RCN’s nurse researcher of the year for Northern Ireland for work I carried out as part of my PhD. It involved the development and rollout of a structured diabetes education programme for young people with type 1 diabetes. I am proud of my part in this, but have to acknowledge the contribution of many others.
What do you think will change nursing in the next decade?
The constant focus on the shift from acute to primary care will mean that nurses will have to become even more creative in how they deliver care.
Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
Accountancy or law.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
Ideally I’d like to be a professor of diabetes nursing, in the hope that this role could help me influence practice even more.
What makes a good nurse?
Someone who is caring, compassionate, questioning, knowledgeable and creative. The person must also have good communication and teamworking skills. They need to enjoy their role, have a vision for the future of nursing and recognise the holistic nature of our job. Not much to ask for.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
I would increase the amount of multidisciplinary working as I feel care can sometimes be disjointed for patients.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
A weekend away with my wife and two sons, in a nice hotel with no computer, email or work, where we could simply enjoy each other’s company.
If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?
Nelson Mandela, he inspires me.