What our nurses say
Nursing and midwifery
In this series of short films, our nurses and student nurses share their stories about working at Guy's and St Thomas'.
We are carers.
We are specialists.
We are colleagues.
We are friends.
We are a team.
We are a community.
We are always teaching.
We are always learning.
We are committed to professional development.
We are here for everyone.
We are nurses.
We are Guy's and St Thomas'.
We are Guy's and St Thomas' NHS Foundation Trust.
I actually grew up in South London, so when I was younger Guy's and St Thomas' was my local hospital and when I came for an informal visit to the service the team were really friendly, they were really welcoming and I thought, actually I feel like I could fit in here.
I have a joint role within the at home service, so I do part of my time as a practice development nurse, supporting staff with their education and development through their career and making sure that the training is appropriate for the service, and I'm also a clinical nurse practitioner doing frontline patient care, keeping people out of hospital or getting them out early.
I had worked in cardiac critical care for the majority of my career. I decided I wanted a bit of a change and I was a band 5 staff nurse when I left critical care. I've actually progressed up to a band 7 nurse practitioner. so I've gone through the motions within the Trust and they've supported me at every step of the way.
Guy's and St Thomas' has got world-renowned reputation so that opens lots of doors, I've had the opportunity to go to conferences I wouldn't have perhaps had in my other trusts and they just give you what you need to do and if there's a course you need to fulfil that, they'll find a way of sending you on it.
London's got everything you want to offer, there's just loads of opportunities, and the good thing about London is because you've got transport linked to pretty much anywhere it's really easy to go further afield if you want to. And jobs wise it's, it's kind of, you know, the place to be to get a career. This has been my journey at Guy's and St Thomas'. What will yours be?
I'm a student nurse at Guy's and St Thomas'. Some might say it's in the family blood because my mum's a nurse. There's always going to be a challenge when you start a placement and you know you're only there for six weeks and you have to get started straight away, jump in at the deep end and seek out opportunities as soon as you walk through the door.
Within placement we get given so many opportunities whether it's to go to theatres within that speciality or work with say a different part of the multidisciplinary team. And then for our final placement we actually have the opportunity to state a preference about where we'd like to go. The support we have from the staff as well as the education team is incredible.
We have lots of students from different universities. We'll share our experiences, we'll give each other advice and obviously there's quite a camaraderie. From every seniority of staff there is such a focus on student learning and giving us opportunities. No question is too stupid, no request is too large a task for them. There's so much going on in the Trust, so many different people to talk to and as a student you know I can't imagine a better place to be learning.
I want to progress to being a clinical nurse specialist. Guy's and St Thomas' is going to give me that opportunity to reach that point in my career. My confidence has grown so much since being here that by this time next year I'll be ready to qualify. It's so welcoming and it's such a brilliant environment and such a great place to study. But ask for opportunities, take any opportunity you're given, no opportunity is too small.
I'm just starting my journey at Guy's and St Thomas'. When will you start yours?
I'm a prostate cancer nurse specialist. I've been at Guy's Hospital for 14 years.
My role is mainly to support the patients through their cancer journey. So from diagnosis, that is being told they've got cancer, to living with cancer, to living beyond cancer.
I started as a band five, did a rotation in renal and urology. I decided urology was my field, so I did a lot of bladder cancer, kidney cancer and testicular cancer.
The department grew so I did a management job for a few years then decided I just needed to branch out a little bit, just to gain confidence in my role, so I decided to be a ward manager for about four years, which was just totally amazing. Then decided, okay, now I need to specialise.
What made it easy to settle in all those jobs was the support from my managers and I've had clinical supervision through it all. Academically they've been there through it all, so I'm not doing a job due to my years or due to the people I know, I'm in a job where I've got the skills to do it. I think it's because I've had amazing managers, that's why I am where I am. There's always opportunity, I think that's what keeps me going, because it's good, it's amazing, the support is just phenomenal.
This is my Guy's and St Thomas' journey, what will yours be?
I am the ward manager on Samaritan Ward. Every day is a new day. I could start by just meeting all the patients every morning, to doing the ward handover, meeting doctors, asking about the plan. But, the unpredictability means that next time I'll be attending a meeting, I could be washing a patient, I could be conducting an interview, I could be with a student. So there's no day that I'm doing the same thing.
I love my team because they are my family away from home. You would feel that they really do care, not just for you, as work colleagues or as managers or for everyone else, but they genuinely provide the best care, the best service and it comes from the heart and you could not fake that.
I have an open-door policy whether it's something about work, whether it's personal, I'm here to help them and I'm always passionate about their improvement. I would like to see my nurses becoming managers and, as a matter of fact, I've developed more than 20 managers now and clinical nurse specialists. And it's good to go around different areas and you know that they are the product of Samaritan Ward. It makes you proud as a manager.
I think after working on the bedside for a while I've realised that I could influence things that I think will be better, how you run the unit. I've got loads of ideas as a young lad so I decided to implement those ideas.
Guy's and St Thomas' I think has equal opportunity for everyone, so you could dream and you could aspire and you just have to ask yourself 'would I like really to do this?' And then they will support you all through the way.
This is my journey at Guy's and St Thomas'. When are you going to start yours?
I'm a paediatric intensive care nurse. I started in intensive care with the intention of doing a year and said this would be great for my CV, do a year and then off I go, and it was just one opportunity after another. I've been here now eight years, every time I thought, oh I think I need a little break maybe I'll step away, there's been something else to step into and it's been wonderful.
It's been a good learning curve and again I thought, what's next, and they said well there's a retrieval service that we run and now you've done your course you can become a retrieval nurse. For about four years I've been doing that. I absolutely love it.
I think working with children can be very challenging and looking after families is an extension of your role, very much a team effort and we all feel the losses but you learn that you're trying your best for every patient and family that comes to the Evelina. One of the strengths of the Evelina London is that the senior staff are really there for their staff and particularly from a nursing point of view and looking after one another and making sure that we're okay in a very stressful and difficult environment, that we do take the time to look after ourselves and that we make sure that we're out on time and we're okay.
Working here there is always career progression and development and people want to invest in you and that is what every nurse wants I think. The support that I've had was amazing and career progression is phenomenal. I can't imagine working anywhere else.
This has been my journey at Evelina London, part of Guy's and St Thomas'. When will you start yours?
I'm the paediatric placement development facilitator within the Trust. I didn't think I wanted to work in a children's hospital but there was an open day advertised in Evelina London Children's Hospital and, I thought, well I might as well go for it. I walked into the hospital and completely fell in love with it and knew I wanted to work here. I've been here for nine years now in a few different roles and it was just the atmosphere, everything about it just made me think yep, this is a good place this is where I want to work.
I was a ward sister on Mountain Ward prior to doing this role and then I was sitting in an update and I heard about this current job and I thought that is for me, that is what I want, and have now been in the role for nearly five years.
Evelina London Children's Hospital is unique because children helped to design it. They wanted things like rocket lifts, they didn't want it to feel like a hospital basically. Children were very much of the focus of the hospital when it was built and that is still the focus now.
The clinical education team where I work is quite a small team. We're a team of mainly nurses and a midwife helping to support the student nurses and midwives in the Trust.
It's really lovely to be able to see them grow and develop and some students that I've worked with in the past, I now see them as clinical nurse specialists, as ward sisters, so I've been able to see that real progression with them.
I think the support that is offered is really fabulous. I think people very much want to make you reach your potential and work out how they can do that. There are the different perks working at Guy's and St Thomas'. We've got our own Thomas Guy Club on-site as well where there's a gym, swimming pool, and a bar, so we don't even have to go far to then be able to meet with our colleagues and just have a laugh as well as having worked hard together too.
My advice would be to get rid of any of the presumptions or assumptions that you have and just come in, see it fresh and hopefully be wowed like I was when I walked in too.
This has been my journey at Evelina London, part of Guy's and St Thomas'. When will your journey begin?