Staff testimonial from Sharon Blackburn
"I started my nursing career as a healthcare assistant in outpatients assisting with clinics, ensuring all the pre-appointment checks were carried out and helping to make the clinic run smoothly.
"Having worked in a retirement home previously I was able to supplement the skills I had acquired there and learn new skills. The outpatients sister was very supportive and ensured I received all the training I needed.
"Very quickly it became apparent that using the skills I has acquired in the outpatients, ie, taking blood pressure, pulse, etc. I could be of use on the wards. I really enjoyed this as it gave me the opportunity to follow the patient journey from arrival at the hospital to discharge after their procedure helping in all aspects of a busy ward. The patients were mainly surgical but from a wide range of fields orthopaedic, gynaecology, urology and cosmetic this gave me a real insight into not just one field of surgery.
"After a few years it became quickly apparent that what I really wanted to do was to train to become a Registered Nurse, so I applied to the University of Surrey and using the experience I had gained at Clare Park I secured a place on the BSc Nursing Studies degree.
"Throughout the three years' training I continued my work as a healthcare assistance thus continuing my practice and with the help and encouragement of my colleagues here at Spire Clare Park Hospital I gained a BSc (Hons) in Nursing Studies Adult Branch.
"Within a few months of qualifying this led me to applying for a part-time Staff Nurse position on the wards at the hospital for which I was successful and felt happy that I achieved my goals in becoming a Staff Nurse at Spire Clare Park. I have felt very supported and have learnt a lot from my colleagues and always feel that the senior staff are approachable and always willing to listen and help, something which I feel Clare Park excels in.
"Very recently I have been given the opportunity to work back in outpatients as a Staff Nurse helping with the pre-assessment paperwork and additionally working alongside the Urology consultants in their weekly clinics. Leading on from this and looking to the future offered the plan is for me to complete some more in-depth training supported by Spire to work towards becoming the Urology Specialist staff Nurse, here at Clare Park, something which I very much look forward to.
"I never thought four years ago that I would be where I am now, embarking on such a worthwhile and rewarding path. There is no doubt that nursing is a demanding, tiring and not without its difficulties, but without a doubt you do feel you are making a difference, in the lives of those you are looking after at an often venerable time in their lives.
"Spire Clare Park Hospital is a small but supportive and friendly environment and an excellent place for anyone who is looking for the next step in their nursing career."