We talk to Emma Gee, nurse consultant for thrombosis and anticoagulation at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, who has been a nurse for 14 years
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I’ve always been fascinated by the human body. I considered studying psychology at university but the practical nature of nursing appealed more. I think the opportunity to help people when they are at their most vulnerable is a privileged job.
Where did you train?
University of Brighton
What was your first job in nursing?
A cross speciality rotation at Addenbrookes Hospital. I spent two years rotating through a transplant ward, medical admissions unit and general surgical ward.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I am addicted to chocolate - I cannot say no.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
Lynda Bonner, my predecessor in this post taught me much about leadership, including the importance of giving feedback, how to engage people and the value of resilience. When I worked with my mum in a nursing home, she taught me that compassion, patience and a good dose of humour are the foundations of being a good nurse.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Be excited! It’s a wonderful, vibrant and dynamic profession. Get a good foundation of experience. Put the patient’s needs first when making decisions and you can’t go far wrong.
My mum taught me that compassion, patience and a good dose of humour are the foundations of being a good nurse
What keeps you awake at night?
Remembering all the things I have to do at work for my team and at home for my family.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Getting positive feedback from patients and seeing colleagues develop and succeed.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Leading an inspirational team of caring, hard-working nurses.
What do you think will change nursing in the next decade?
Feedback from NHS service users. I think the focus on getting the basics right will continue and “generalist” career paths will develop to reflect that.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
My current job, I have so much to learn and achieve.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Compassion, patience, thirst for knowledge and development, creativity, resilience, hard work, courage and humour. Above all, the desire to be a good nurse.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Better nurse to patient ratios on hospital wards. Much negative patient feedback seems to stem from staff being too busy.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Spending time with my husband and two little girls, preferably involving coffee and cake.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
My husband’s mum - sadly she passed away before I knew my husband but I think we would have got on really well.