1. What is your job title and where do you work?
I am acting lead nurse for sexual health. I manage and work in sexual health clinics across Devon, from Exeter to Barnstaple. My day-to-day work includes working clinically with patients who attend our service with sexual health or contraception needs, and I also support our staff teams to ensure we provide an efficient, high quality service to people needing our help. Working across different service locations means I meet a lot of people (both staff and patients) and that’s the part of the job I really enjoy!
2. What says ‘Christmas’ to you?
Professionally, the sexual health service sees a lot of people over the festive period who have enjoyed a bit too much Christmas tipple and done things they wouldn’t normally do…. Christmas is a busy time of year for us! In these situations we provide free testing, treatment, emergency contraception and condoms; plus lots of kind and non-judgmental advice!
Personally, it’s great to have some time away from work to spend with family and friends, walking the dog, eating great food and make exciting plans for the year ahead.
3. Top tip for a great Christmas?
Enjoy your celebrations with those you care about and have fun! If partying or dating over the Christmas and New Year period, take care with alcohol. It’s important to look out for friends and colleagues too.
4. Is there anything that happened in 2019 that you feel thankful for, or anyone you’d like to thank?
I’d like to thank all of the sexual health staff who have worked extremely hard to deliver an amazing service. The team are all brilliant at adapting to the constant changes that happen in the NHS, working well together as a team, whilst all the time giving such a high standard of quality care to patients. It makes a difference working with a team who enjoy coming to work and appear to love what they do. Some of the patients we see are very young and vulnerable, and there are those who just feel scared or embarrassed; it makes me feel so proud to receive regular positive feedback from patients who thank the staff for helping them. This is why we do our job!
5. Have you got a goal for 2020?
We have a new Band 5 trainee nurse position in the Exeter clinic, which we are just about to interview for. This is a new role for our service, as we usually recruit experienced staff who are already skilled in the specialty. I really look forward to working alongside whoever we appoint, developing their skills and helping them become the best clinician they can be. It’s an exciting opportunity.