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60 seconds with...Amanda Ward, paediatric cystic fibrosis nurse specialist at Nottingham Children’s Hospital

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We talk to Amanda Ward, paediatric cystic fibrosis nurse specialist at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, who has been a nurse for 30 years

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

I trained as a nursery nursewhen I left school and after qualifying worked in a special care baby unit. While I was working there, I decided to train to become a nurse.

Where did you train?

Northern General Hospital, Sheffeld.

What was your first job in nursing?

Enrolled nurse on a paediatric orthopaedic ward.

What is the trait you least likein yourself and why?

I tend to put things o until the last minute and then wish that I had done everything sooner.

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

I worked many years ago with Fiona Smith, Royal College of Nursing adviser in children’s and young people’s nursing. She encouraged and inspired

me to undertake a conversion course to move from being an enrolled nurse to become a registered sick children’s nurse.

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

Being a nurse is hard work, challenging but also extremely rewarding.

What keeps you awake at night?

Nothing now that my family have flown the nest and I am not disturbed when they return from a night out.

It would be good to see paediatric nurses having more opportunities to work at a senior level.

What’s the most satisfying part of your job?

Preparing young people and their families towards transition to the adult cystic fibrosis service, ensuring that they are competent and knowledgeable in the management of their disease.

What’s your proudest achievement?

Converting from an enrolled nurse to a registered sick children’s nurse. Being awarded a Bsc (Hons) at the age of 51 years. Winning this year’s Nottingham University Hospitals’ Nurse of the Year Award.

What do you think makes a good nurse?

Compassion, empathy, excellent communication skills and the ability to listen. A friendly face and a sense of humour.

What will change nursing in the next decade?

It would be good to see paediatric nurses having more opportunities to work at a senior level.

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

I originally trained as a nursery nurse so I would probably have remained in that field of work.

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

I would like to be planning my retirement.

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

To improve workforce planning involving all organisations and allied health professionals.

What would your ideal weekend involve?

Walking with family and friends in the Lake District.

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

Garden writer and broadcaster Monty Don, so that he could advise me how to landscape and redesign my garden, and show me what to plant

and where.

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