We talk to Kimberley Salmon-Jamieson, deputy chief nurse at the University Hospital of South Manchester, who qualified as a nurse in 1994.
Why did you become a nurse?
I thought about a number of careers - social work, probation work and humanitarian work in disaster zones before I considered nursing. Complete strangers guess I am a nurse.
Where did you train?
Lancaster Royal Infirmary and St Martin’s College/Lancaster University.
What was your first job?
Orthopaedic ward at Salford Royal Hospitals.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I get frustrated by compromise.
From whom have you learnt the most in your career?
I have taken a little from lots of people. Two patients wrote to me (I still have the cards) and their words have supported me through many a difficulty; I always try to do what they said I did best - smile, do what’s right and understand.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Nursing is hard, really hard. It requires a person with the will and desire to make a difference. If you can come to work with a smile, support lots of people - patients, relatives and colleagues - through difficult times, day in, day out - it’s for you. Being a nurse is hugely rewarding and a privileged role.
What keeps you awake?
Problems, patient concerns, my two-year-old boy.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Being able to support patients through difficult times. Sadly, I see them because of a complaint or incident although we do our best to put things right. I also enjoy supporting the team and seeing staff flourish and develop.
What is your proudest achievement?
I recall two special events - the first was personal feedback from a family when I was a staff nurse after I looked after their daughter in her early 20s who sadly died. The second was the letters, cards, emails and comments received when I left a post for a new one - it took my breath away. Outside, work, my boys aged two and 10 years.
What is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
Better partnership with patients and technology to help patients and nurses. I would like to see further advancement of nursing roles.
What would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
Aid worker or solicitor. I would like to teach yoga but you need to learn it and become a master - I have done neither.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
What makes a good nurse?
Humility, resilience, positivity, flexibility and being able to move with change. Diligence and the will to do the right thing.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
The amount of time staff can spend “talking and walking” and other activities with patients that make a difference, especially to older people.
What is your ideal weekend?
Good food, fun times with the boys and my husband and our friends, possibly in a twinkle-lit yurt or tipi.
If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?
The Dalai Lama, hoping his spirituality would engulf and enlighten me.