We talk to Carly Ringrose, a research nurse at the Southampton Cancer Research UK Centre, who has been a nurse for eight years and is working on early phase trials for new lymphoma treatments.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
It was never a methodical, drawn-out thought process. Nursing is a vocation – it’s an innate inclination to help others and for the fulfilment that you get from caring for somebody in need.
Where did you train?
Bournemouth University and Poole Hospital.
What was your first job in nursing?
Elderly rehabilitation, but I always knew cancer care was where I would end up.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I am stubborn, but that also brings with it perseverance. I wouldn’t be where I am without this trait.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
I am fortunate to work with amazing people who inspire and teach me, but one person who comes to mind was my final mentor and later my line manager at Durlston Ward, Poole Hospital. He pushed, supported and guided me as a student and junior nurse.
What advice would you give someone starting out in the profession?
Nursing is a 24-hour profession. If you find yourself running behind, don’t get flustered – prioritise and delegate non-essential jobs (and thank those who help).
What keeps you awake at night?
Very little. When my head hits the pillow, I’m exhausted. A massive perk of my job is the daily dose of perspective. It teaches you to not sweat the little things.
I was determined to be a nurse. Having an unplanned pregnancy during my A-levels didn’t deter me
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
To be able to offer hope when all treatment options have been exhausted. It’s exciting to be involved in cutting-edge research, seeing treatments move from experimental drugs to being standard care.
What is your proudest achievement?
Talking alongside my patient at an immunotherapy clinical-trials evening. His story was incredibly humbling. It reconfirmed that the hard work put in by all the Cancer Research UK team is worthwhile.
What do you think is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
Unfortunately, and I hope I’m wrong, it’s the privatisation of the NHS.
Which job would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
I don’t know – I was determined to be a nurse. Having an unplanned pregnancy during my A-levels didn’t deter me and I got a first-class nursing degree while working full-time.
What job would you like to be doing in five years’ time?
I love the teaching side of nursing, so I may eventually become a lecturer.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
For a research nurse: organisation, a desire to help others, a hunger for knowledge and wanting to see results from all the hard work you have put into a clinical trial.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
The negativity and politics.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Sun, wine and my favourite people.
If you could spend an hour with a famous or notable person, who would it be and why?
The Queen. I’d like to know her opinion on things.