We talk to Joseph Manning, translational research fellow at the National Institute for Health Research/Nottingham University Hospitals and honorary paediatric intensive care nurse at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Children’s Hospital, who has been a nurse for eight years.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
Although it sounds like a bit of a cliché, I wanted a career where I could make a difference to people’s lives.
Where did you train?
The University of Nottingham.
What was your first job in nursing?
I was staff nurse on paediatric rotation at the Queen’s Medical Centre in Nottingham.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I find it extremely difficult to say “no”, which adds to my workload. But I also think this has given me opportunities I might not have had.
From whom have you learnt most in your nursing career?
I have learnt much from clinical colleagues and academics but my patients and their families have been my greatest teachers. They provide me with the questions for my research and are the focus for where the findings are applied. They have taught me to be humble and non-complacent, and have inspired me to keep improving standards and quality of care.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Don’t be afraid to question and challenge yourself and others in the best interests of your patients and their families. Be receptive to those who do the same. Only by doing this do we develop an open culture, and improve and grow as people and providers of care.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Conducting clinically relevant research that will inform and change the nursing care and services that we provide to patients and their families.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Being awarded the research fellowship for my current post.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
One where I can engage in both clinical care and research. I hope to have an established research programme, clinical workload and be nurturing other aspiring nursing/clinical academics.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Someone who cares and is committed, is inquisitive and confident to challenge the status quo to improve care.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
As the largest professional group in the public sector, nurses have the potential to influence and advocate for their patients and families on national and international levels. Aristotle said “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts” so I’d like to see better collaboration between nurses, irrespective of the field, with greater political awareness to provoke high-level changes.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
I’m a spin fanatic so would need to go to one or two classes. I also enjoy cooking, eating and socialising so a meal with my family and friends is a must.
If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?
Nurse, academic and researcher Pamela Hawthorn. Her research, Nurse - I Want My Mummy!, contributed to significant changes in practice.