We talk to Claudine Wetherall, lecturer in adult nursing at Anglia Ruskin University, who has been a nurse for 11 years
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
For the glamour of course!
Where did you train?
Southend Hospital in Essex.
What was your first job in nursing?
Staff nurse in accident and emergency.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I get very passionate about the things I believe in and sometimes I go off on tangents. My students are too polite to tell me - but I know.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
I have learnt a lot from many along the way. My sister Justine was a nurse before me and remains an excellent role model. Latterly, Sharon
Andrew and Debra Jackson gave me confidence as a nurse new to an academic setting.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Be true to yourself, stand up for those in your care and be proud of your profession.
What keeps you awake at night?
Pretty much everything. I am a bit of an insomniac. Radio 5 Live is great company in the wee small hours.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Supporting students to develop and grow professionally and feeling that I might vicariously have made a positive difference to the quality of patient care.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Putting my uniform on for the first time. It was in a bit of a dark broom cupboard with no mirror, but I felt different.
Nurse leaders need the courage to speak up for the profession and not to bend to the whims of politicians
What do you think will change nursing in the next decade?
Ongoing austerity. Cuts in public spending will continue and present challenges to the provision of care and to the profession. This will require leadership with the courage to speak up for nursing and not to bend to the whims of politicians.
What would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
Professional dog walker.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
What I am doing now. I love it.
What makes a good nurse?
Integrity, impartiality and a genuine concern for people, which includes each other. Nursing has to remain connected to that which gives it meaning, which is the desire to care for others. A system that supports this would be the icing on the cake.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Unity within the profession. Nursing would have the potential to move mountains if it spoke and acted with one voice.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Wandering over the hills in Perthshire with our three Jack Russells, followed by a succession of large drams in front of an open fire.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
Writer and raconteur Quentin Crisp. Behind the wit and eccentricity was a courageous man who suffered extreme prejudice but never faltered. An unsung hero and that rare thing today - a true individual.