We talk to Julie Storr, president of the Infection Prevention Society of the UK and Ireland and consultant for the World Health Organization’s Patient Safety Programme at Imperial College London.
She trained as a nurse and health visitor and graduated with a bachelor of nursing degree in 1990.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
It was an accident, but I realised my strengths lay in empowering others towards better health and that nursing was a channel to achieve this.
Where did you train?
University of Manchester.
What was your first job in nursing?
Staff nurse at Goole and District Hospital in East Yorkshire.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
Inability to focus on one thing at a time - this isn’t always a bad thing, but focus is important, particularly when changing the culture of healthcare, so I try hard to work on this.
From whom have you learnt most from in your nursing career and why?
Tricia Hart, deputy chief executive/director of nursing and patient safety at South Tees Hospitals Foundation Trust - the best and most inspirational nurse leader I
have ever met.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Never think of it as just a job.
What keeps you awake at night?
Very little - a good night’s sleep is important.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Inspiring people to change, to think differently about infection prevention.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Being a nurse with the good fortune to work for the World Health Organization and champion nursing, patient safety and infection prevention internationally.
What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
An ageing population and the advance of technology. I like Nigel Crisp’s call to turn the world of healthcare upside down and start again with a new vision - nursing can be at the forefront of this.
I like the call to turn healthcare upside down and start again with a new vision - nursing can be at the forefront of this
Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
In a parallel universe, I would probably have been a psychiatrist.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
Global leader in healthcare.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
I think chief nursing officer Jane Cummings has more or less captured the answer to this question perfectly with the 6Cs.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
The power imbalance between health professionals and patients.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Reading, stimulating others through social media, and taking in this beautiful world by doing a bit of running outside.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
Sylvia Plath - a genius who died too young. I would like to know what was going on in her head.