“The patients are what make me tick, and if I can help someone a little bit in their times of need, then that’s a job well done.” – Jane, Clinical Nurse Specialist
My role combines management with clinical aspects. From a management perspective I support a team of nurses who work for the CASH (Contraception and Sexual Health) Service at Spectrum, managing staff and the day-to-day running or our clinics.
Clinically I undertake a comprehensive medical and sexual health history for every new patient that attends our service. I offer advice on methods of contraception and offer support, which helps people to make an informed choice. I am also a Non-Medical Prescriber (NMP) so I initiate contraception once a patient understands all about their chosen method, how to take and use it and I answer all of their questions and concerns.
I support patients who require screening for Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STI’s), treatment and follow-up for patients and onward referral to other agencies. I also undertake pregnancy tests, as well as being a mentor for our student nurses.
Counselling is a big part of my role, from supporting women who find they have an unplanned pregnancy, helping men and women who may have been sexually assaulted, and the safeguarding of young people.
What nursing means to me:
I wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl. I won a fancy dress competition dressed as a nurse and that was the start. However I also had lots of guidance from my mother, who was a trained nurse.
Nursing has changed vastly since I started my training. I loved my training and the jobs I have done since qualifying. I have worked in intensive care and neurosurgery, elderly medicine, practice nursing and now my role is within the CASH service.
I can honestly say that I don’t regret any of my nursing career! I never thought I’d end up in a job talking about contraception and sexual health all day, but no two days are ever the same. The patients are what make me tick, and if I can help someone a little bit in their times of need, then that’s a job well done.
As my role has expanded, I have grown too, both in confidence and competence. I feel as nurses we should instil confidence into our patients and reassure them when we can. Years ago, a large part of the nurse’s role was to assist Doctors, this is not so in my role today. I am an experienced practitioner working in my own right. I have support and respect from my medical colleagues and working as a team is paramount to a successful team. I am fortunate I work in such a great team.
Advice to anyone who wants a career in nursing?
If you really feel that’s what you want to do, go for it. A lot of people fear nursing today because of the ‘paper work’ and technology. If you have a good sense of humour, patience and tolerance you should be fine!