We talk to Pamela Shaw, a practice educator/health visitor, who qualified as a nurse in 1991 before embarking on a career in midwifery.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I wanted to make a positive difference to patients and their families and colleagues. I enjoy being able to lead, encourage, educate and motivate patients to make health-enhancing decisions and sta to make positive contributions to the health service.
Where did you train?
I completed my nursing, midwifery, health visiting and teaching training at three dfferent hospitals and universities in the West Yorkshire region.
What was your first job in nursing?
Staff nurse on a surgical ward at St James’s University Teaching Hospital.
From whom have you learnt the most in your career?
The Mary Seacole Steering Group mentors. They supported me with a Department of Health-funded project and enabled me to problem solve at a strategic level, overcome obstacles, remain motivated and confi dent in completing the project on time.
I want to be in a position where I’m still making a dfference to children, young people and the nursing workforce.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Be open to constructive feedback and take responsibility for your career.
What keeps you awake at night?
Nothing. I get quality sleep by maintaining a healthy diet and taking regular exercise.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
I enjoy the diversity of my role as it involves providing direct care and support to patients and their families. It also involves facilitating the learning of student health visitors and students from other nursing disciplines as well as providing training/support.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Being recognised for my contributions to service delivery and patient care by client/sta nominations:
What is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
Technology will play a greater part in client care planning, and communication, and there will be greater involvement from clients about the care they
receive and where this is undertaken.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
I want to be in a position where I’m still making a dfference to children, young people and the nursing workforce. I see myself working in a more senior leadership position in the NHS in one of two areas - staff and patient engagement or staff development and coaching.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Someone who is committed and passionate about nursing and is able to communicate well at all levels.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Improve representation of black minority ethnic staff at senior and strategic levels throughout the NHS.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Spending time with family and friends, shopping, eating out, trips away, theatre and cinema, gym and being pampered.
If you could spend an hour with someone, who would it be?
Barack Obama. He is an incredible public speaker with a charismatic personality, and he is highly intelligent.