We talk to Ellie Lindsay, independent specialist practitioner, associate lecturer at the Centre for Research Implementation of Clinical Practice in London and visiting fellow at Queensland University of Technology. She worked for 10 years in a general hospital, followed by 15 years of community nursing.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
I liked working with people. I felt that nursing would be a rewarding career, having gained an insight from my mother and aunt who were both nurses.
Where did you train?
What was your first job in nursing?
My first ward was a male surgical ward working with a general surgeon, urology and vascular consultants.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I don’t know all the answers, which can be very frustrating.
From whom have you learnt the most in your nursing career and why?
I have been fortunate to work with many experts and eminent colleagues whose patience and willingness to educate has and continues to contribute to my learning.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Always remember you are delivering care to individuals whose rights and dignity should be respected.
What keeps you awake?
Fear of making an error or not having enough time to provide the quality of care that is every patient’s entitlement.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Empowering patients and making a difference to the delivery of patient-centred care.
What’s your proudest achievement?
Introducing the Leg Club model - a psychosocial approach to patient-centred care for people with leg ulcers - and forming the Lindsay Leg Club Foundation, which brings nurses, patients and communities together.
What is likely to change nursing in the next decade?
Medical technology, skill mix, local authority health and wellbeing boards being given responsibility for social care and public health, commissioning consortia and expert patient groups.
What would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
Another profession that involves working with people.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
The role I am in now, but with more success in terms of engaging with the government.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
Compassion, empathy, interpersonal skills and a methodical diligent approach to safe practice.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
A greater willingness to embrace change and a truly multidisciplinary seamless service.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
The prime minister so I could lobby him about the Leg Club model and his Big Society.