We talk to Rachael Corser, director of nursing at Care UK, who has been a nurse for 21 years.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
To make a difference, to support people when they are at their most vulnerable and to just make them feel better.
Where did you train?
The Nightingale Institute at King’s College, London.
What was your first job in nursing?
Staff nurse on the Liver Unit at King’s College Hospital, London. Because of the nature of the unit, I was exposed to caring for people with medical, surgical and critical care needs.
From whom have you learnt most in your nursing career?
One thing I love about nursing is that you are always learning and can do so from all of your colleagues. As I visit Care UK’s hospitals and services I still learn from our teams’ innovations. You can be energised by the enthusiasm and can-do attitude of a young staff nurse. I am lucky to have many experienced colleagues who are happy to share their ideas; I try to learn something from everyone I meet.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Embrace every opportunity that comes your way and don’t limit your horizons.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Being able to influence care over such a wide spectrum of services. Whether I’m visiting a prison, a unit that supports young people with eating disorders or a treatment centre, the nurses all tell me they love their jobs. They love having time to really care for patients and our culture, which genuinely embraces a drive for quality.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Professionally, being director of nursing at one of the most exciting times in nursing; personally, being mother to my two beautiful, funny, clever daughters. The best thing is when they are proud of me for the things I do as a nurse.
What is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
More partnerships between private and public services, and greater collaboration between health and social care services. With an ageing population and budget restrictions, we’ll need to have services that help people stay at home.
I still learn from our teams’ innovations. You can be energised by the enthusiasm and can-do attitude of a young staff nurse
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
This one - it is a very big job. Good isn’t good enough. As an independent provider of NHS Healthcare every patient contact matters, we are only as good as our last one, so every single appointment, surgery or visit must be exceptional. I have a lot of plans.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
I’d like to put a limit on silo working. Sometimes, in highly specialised areas, it may be necessary but it can lead to
the wrong type of competition and the patient doesn’t benefit from the full range of people, skills and facilities that are open to them.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Spending time with my family.
If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?
It would have to be Florence Nightingale; I’d like to know if she had any idea of the long-term effects her ideas would have. But, if she wasn’t available for dinner that day, I’d happily share a meal with George Clooney.