Senior Sister
Addenbrookes Hospital

Senior Sister
Addenbrookes Hospital


Sarah C

00:00:01 My name is Sarah C, and my job title is Senior Sister. A Senior Sister involves managing the ward on a day to day basis. It is my responsibility to ensure that the patients have a good experience in hospital, from the moment they come onto the ward, until the moment they’re discharged. It is a lot, it is a lot, but it’s what I want to do, I’m passionate about it, I love every single minute of my job. It’s a worthwhile job I mean that’s – I think that’s the – the crux of it is, is that it’s such a worthwhile job. You go home and you know that you’ve made a difference in someone’s day. Yes, I’ve always been a very energetic person, yes, I’ve always had bags of energy. I’m energetic from the minute I get up to the minute I go to bed!

00:00:43 As a young child I never thought I’d be a nurse. My family were all nurses, and I have very clear images of my parents coming in and they would finish work at eleven o’clock, I always thought – I don’t think that’s something that I want to do. I didn’t think I’d have the qualifications to do it. It was something that I thought that you needed to have A levels, you needed to be getting straight A’s at school. I found my GCSEs very difficult, I struggled with my GCSEs, it wasn’t an easy time for me. And I decided that after struggling through studying for two years of GCSEs, that I couldn’t do any more study at that time in my life, I just wanted a change. So I just decided to leave education behind for a while. When I left school I decided that I would to do some voluntary work at my local hospital, and I thoroughly enjoyed it, I loved every single minute of it. I used to go in every day and I just – every day was different.

00:01:38 And I thought to myself, I could do this. So I got a job as a Health Care Assistant, which is an untrained nurse, and I said to my mother – I’m going to apply to be a nurse. And she supported me the whole way. So I applied to do my training at Addenbrookes. My nurse training was – it was difficult, it was three years, and it was a difficult time for me. And I think if I had had some A-Levels behind me, that might have made it easier. For example if I’d done an A-Level in Biology – Human Biology – it would certainly have made that easier. But I think I’m – at the time I wanted to put my heart and soul into voluntary work.

00:02:11 In ten years time I hope to be a Senior Sister still where I am now. When you go up higher within the nursing profession you move away from patient care, and my focus is patient care. I came into nursing to nurse, I didn’t come in to – to just attend meetings that’s – it’s my passion, my patients are my passion. Definitely the patients energise me, them smiling at me, them being upset and me being able to help them, them coming in very very unwell and leaving well. That’s what drives me, definitely.

00:02:42 Nursing has definitely changed me. I was a very very shy and quiet person as a teenager, and it’s made me a confident person, it’s made me be more trusting in my own abilities, probably that’s the biggest thing that nursing has probably changed, for me, is the way I perceive life. Life is very precious – I live every day for – every minute that it gives me, every exposure I have, every experience I have, I go home and think – I did that today, and that’s good.

00:03:12 ENDS

Sarah's patients are her passion. As senior sister at Addenbrookes hospital she knows she makes a difference and that is why she finds her job so worthwhile. On a personal level nursing has transformed Sarah from a shy and quiet teenager who struggled with her GCSEs, to the confident and self assured person she is today.

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average salary

The UK average salary is £28,758

average weekly hours

There are 37.5 hours in the average working week

16%  male  84%  female 

The UK workforce is 47% female and 53% male

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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