My mum was a nurse and inspired me to follow in her footsteps. That was more than 30 years ago and I can honestly say it’s a fantastic career.
I started my training in 1985 at Grimsby School of Nursing and went into coronary care nursing after qualifying.
I moved to Oxford in 1989 and spent 15 years working in critical care nursing, for which I developed a passion. In intensive care back then, the role of the nurse was rapidly developing and we were responsible for the holistic care of patients on a range of technology to support their vital functions. The unit I worked in supported patients recovering from open-heart surgery. I initially worked as a staff nurse, then a senior staff nurse and then as a sister on the unit.
Luckily, I have achieved a number of firsts. I was part of the first group to do the critical care nursing programme at Oxford Brookes University. I was part of a rescue team called Operation Irma in 1993 that airlifted injured people from Bosnia and Herzegovina during the siege of Sarajevo. And I was one of the first nurses to do an advanced trauma course in 1993. When I started my autonomous practitioner programme in 1999, this was one of the first such programmes in the UK, and when I moved to Lincolnshire in 2004, I was one of the first consultant nurses in the county.
I am proud of nursing and the impact nurses have every day in caring for patients and making a difference to their lives. This applies to all nursing staff, regardless of their role or where they work.
If you’re thinking of becoming a nurse, I’d advise you to do it. Every day is exciting, motivating and rewarding.
Please visit the LCHS website to see the latest vacancies.
Tracy Pilcher is Director of Nursing, Allied Health Professionals and Operations and Deputy Chief Executive at Lincolnshire Community Health Services NHS Trust