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60 SECONDS WITH…

60 seconds with ... lead nurse Sue Wilson at Tameside General Hospital

We talk to Sue Wilson, lead nurse in the outpatients department at Tameside General Hospital, Ashton under Lyne in Lancashire, who has been a nurse for 45 years.

 

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I used to visit my grandparents on the Wirral. One day, I was walking passed Clatterbridge Hospital, I was about aged seven or eight, and a nurse with a big smile waved at me. I thought: “I want to be a nurse one day with a big smile.” I never changed my mind from that day.

Where did you train?

Tameside General Hospital on the outskirts of Greater Manchester.

What was your first job in nursing?

A staff nurse on a male surgical ward.

What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?

I never say “no” and sometimes this backfires, causing me sleepless nights.

From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?

A particular senior sister who I worked with for many years on the surgical unit when I was a young sister myself. I always will remember her, for she was really strict but loved her staff and patients.

What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?

I would say be yourself, on the bad days turn all your negatives into positives and always move forwards not backwards.

What keeps you awake at night?

I reflect about most things. I want everything to be perfect - work, home, family - and I do worry about minute details. It’s a balancing act sometimes to please everyone.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Seeing patients and their families receiving excellent care and attention and knowing in some way I have contributed in that process.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Becoming a ward sister at 23.

What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?

I worry about dedication and commitment - a good nurse needs to go through the ranks and not specialise too soon. Basic nursing care and practice gives a good nurse the fundamentals to pursue their career.

I worry about dedication and commitment - a good nurse needs to go through the ranks and not specialise too soon

Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?

An air stewardess.

What job would you like to be doing in five years?

I think I may have retired.

What do you think makes a good nurse?

A nurse must have a love for others, be kind, caring and a very happy, selfless person. A nurse must also have a passion for learning and development, and motivation.

If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?

The paperwork.

What would your ideal weekend involve?

To relax in a quiet place, with a lovely meal prepared.

If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?

The footballer David Beckham. He is always smiling and I would love to meet him. No matter what goes on in his career he always manages to change a negative into a positive.

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