Explore: Healthcare

Senior Clinical Nurse
Addenbrookes Hospital

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Rachael M

00:00:01 My name’s Rachael M, I’m a Senior Clinical Nurse and I cover two wards at Addenbrookes Treatment Centre. We’re responsible for the standard of care on the wards, for the patient experience, for the environment, and for providing clinical support to staff. For me it’s about being with the patients, and about spending time with patients, and making what for them can be quite a traumatic experience, a good one. It’s difficult to explain I think sometimes but holding somebody’s hand, or just using one word, can make all the difference to a patient. You come into a hospital you’re vulnerable, that power that you normally have over your own life is taken away. But I think we’re there to give it back to them. I think you have to want to do it, because when you’re working on the wards, when you’re working with patients you’re working with people, they can pick up on whether you want to be there or not, and I think that’s really important.

00:02:15 I did Art GCSE and I loved it and it was great but it’s – how easy is it to forge a career? It was something that I enjoyed, I didn’t want to turn it into something that I didn’t enjoy. It wasn’t really until my A-Levels that I thought about nursing. So I was kind of still in two minds, not really sure, I was kind of open for, you know, whatever came along, I think. The year before I started my training I actually looked into being a guide dog trainer, and I have absolutely no idea why, but I just thought I would. I suppose I changed my mind and thought about nursing – and my Mum actually tried to talk me out of it. Oh well she was just kind of like – Oh well I don’t think you should. So I kind of didn’t feel that she was that supportive. But certainly since I’ve qualified she has been. The Chief Nurse in my last Trust, for me was very inspiring. With her it was always the small things, the attention to detail. She was always focusing on those small things, and I think that’s somebody has inspired me definitely. I chose to join the NHS because it is such a fantastic organisation. We’re one of the only countries that’s got a free health care system, and there’s so much opportunity, there’s so much happening for the NHS now, I wouldn’t want to work for any other organisation. When I first qualified I’d always said that I wanted just to stay, you know, as a Staff Nurse working on a ward. I think what made me want more than just that, was because I could see the way nursing could influence change, and positive change, for patients. So that made me want to aim higher, you know, I’ve got to a Manager’s level, but it’s – again it’s yeah but I can see that there’s more things that can be done, and there’s more things that I want to do. That’s what’s I guess got me to where I wanted to be now, I suppose. As I’m doing what I want to do, I feel more comfortable and more confident, and I think that changes the way you see things, and the way people perceive you as well. I guess it’s made me realise that the choices that I made, and what I wanted to do, you know, they were the right choices.

00:02:52 I think what excites me is – is if you can make somebody smile when they’re having surgery for cancer, and that can be for one moment – that‘s what I get out of it. And that for me is a huge – a huge thing. And then if I can inspire, you know, junior staff to want to do the same thing, enabling them, you know, and giving them the power to do the same things, and that’s what I get out of nursing.

00:03:23 ENDS


Rachael M is a Senior Clinical Nurse at Addenbrookes, she enjoys the satisfaction and opportunities of working for the NHS and says “if you can make somebody smile when they’re having surgery for cancer and that can be for one moment – that’s what I get out of it”.

More information about Nurses

average salary

The UK average salary is £29,813

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

15%  male 
85%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

Future employment

Future employment?

? Nurses provide general and/or specialised nursing care for the sick, injured and others in need of such care, assist medical doctors with their tasks and work with other healthcare professionals and within teams of healthcare workers. They advise on and teach nursing practice.
Qualification as a nurse is via a diploma or degree course, both of which are provided by universities. Courses comprise both theoretical and practical work, including placements in hospital and community settings. Full time diploma courses last three years; degree courses last three or four years. Accelerated programmes are available to graduates with a health-related degree. There is a minimum age limit of 17 years 6 months to enter training. Post-registration training is available for a range of clinical specialisms.
  • Assists medical doctors and works with other healthcare professionals to deal with emergencies and pre-planned treatment of patients;
  • Manages own case load;
  • Monitors patient’s progress, administers drugs and medicines, applies surgical dressings and gives other forms of treatment;
  • Participates in the preparation for physical and psychological treatment of mentally ill patients;
  • Plans duty rotas and organises and directs the work and training of ward and theatre nursing staff;
  • Advises on nursing care, disease prevention, nutrition, etc. and liaises with hospital board/ management on issues concerning nursing policy;
  • Plans, manages, provides and evaluates nursing care services for patients, supervises the implementation of nursing care plans;
  • Delivers lectures and other forms of formal training relating to nursing practice.
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