Senior Sister, Cardiac Surgery
Senior sister Rachel Eaton has grown her career, skills and knowledge in the seven years she has spent in the St George’s Cardiac Surgery nursing team.
She joined after qualifying because “Cardiac surgery really interests me”. Three promotions later, Rachel leads a friendly and supportive team helping a huge variety of patients recover, after major surgery.
“It’s a very varied workload, from 20 years olds recovering from aorta surgery to 85 year olds who have had heart bypass surgery, and patients who have undergone emergency operations.
“To start with you work with less acute patients and we help new nurses manage patients and their time. As you progress, there are great opportunities to gain experience in what is a quite unique setting as we provide a fast-track service which involves one to one care overnight to patients who have undergone major heart surgery.
“I’ve been fortunate to benefit from a lot of training opportunities – formal training, informal education and on-the-job learning via other nurses and consultants, and to take up post-graduate courses which have interested me. It’s something we put a great value on for all the team,” she said.
Rachel works with around 30 nurses on Benjamin Weir Ward and is enjoying the continued “friendliness and supportive culture” she has developed her career in.
Marnham Ward – Respiratory Medicine
“I joined St George’s in September 2014 as a newly qualified nurse, which has been quite a big change as I’m originally from Dundee. I was coming to the end of my degree in March when I met the St George’s recruitment lead and the Matron from Marnham Ward at a jobs fair in Glasgow, before that I hadn’t given serious thought to relocating. The conversation I had at the jobs fair and the strong transport links from London back home gave me the confidence to go for the job and I’m really glad that I did.
I have learnt much more at St George’s than I would have expected to in my first year. This is partly due to the nature of the patients that I look after, and also the availability of developmental courses at St George’s. In my first few months I’ve been able to undertake IV training and assessment, and there is always senior support and mentoring available on Marnham Ward.
I would recommend this experience to any nurse thinking of joining St George’s, whilst moving across the country was daunting I’ve been made welcome by my team on Marnham Ward. My advice to anyone relocating to take a job opportunity at the Trust would be to make the effort to get out and enjoy London as there is loads to do and you soon meet people to spend your free time with.”
Ruth Myles Ward – Haematology
“I joined St Georges in 2007 straight after I qualified; I had been a student nurse on McIntee Ward. I really enjoyed the St George’s experience and wanted to stay. In addition to the enjoyable hustle and bustle that you experience in a large London Trust I found St George’s to be particularly special as everyone is so friendly. This really stood out for me while I was on placement and I knew I wanted to be part of the team.
Ruth Myles particularly appealed to me as we see such a variety of patients, my knowledge base has grown so quickly due to the number of different patients that have been in my care and I was promoted to a band 6 role within 18 months of joining the team.
I see myself staying with Ruth Myles for some time yet. The team are fantastic; we all work very closely together and really get to know our patients well enabling us to give the very best care. As a team we all feel well supported and encouraged to develop and learn as much as possible. I am currently working towards a PGDip in Leadership and Management which I know my Manager and colleagues will encourage and value.”
Trevor Howell Ward – Oncology
“This is my second job in the UK; I originally started nursing in Spain and then joined a UK hospital outside of London in 2013. I was so pleased to be offered the role at St George’s as it enabled me to re-locate to London. Being in London offers me easy access to travel to Spain and visit home regularly and I am living and working 20 minutes away from the centre of a really exciting city.
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend taking such an opportunity to other overseas nurses. Nursing at St George’s is giving me the opportunity to study and specialise in Oncology and Palliative care that I wouldn’t have had in Spain.
I can’t deny that it is a daunting move but there is a network of Spanish and Portuguese nurses at St George’s on hand and willing to work on improving one another’s English language. The Trust also offers a good induction that means you feel well supported.
I have found Trevor Howell ward to be incredibly well organised and I have had a period of being super-numery while I settle in. My manager also helped me to organise and secure local Trust accommodation. I now feel like I have been here for years rather than weeks!”