Hello, my name is Diane. I am an operating theatre sister responsible for general surgery.
How did you get to where you are today? What made you decide to do what you do?
I qualified as an enrolled nurse in 1983 at the age of 21 and worked on various wards, but always knew I wanted to work in the operating theatre. I worked in Australia for two years and in 1989, I retrained to be a registered general nurse (RGN) as at that time there were no conversion courses available to convert to first level nursing.
I started in the operating theatre as a registered nurse in 1991 and continued my nursing career. I was seconded for six month to a specialist theatre nurse course to enrich my theatre knowledge. I studied and passed the diploma in nursing/healthcare in 1997. I was also supported to study a part time post graduate certificate of education to enable me to teach adults in college.
I have always had an interest in infection prevention and was delighted to be seconded to the infection prevention team. This eventually led to a permanent post as Infection Prevention Nurse in 2006. I continued to be employed by Airedale Trust and worked in the community on a service level agreement. I have always wanted to explore other nursing roles around perioperative care but I was always drawn back to theatre nursing as my first love.
In 2007, after finishing the Infection Prevention and Control post, I again returned to the operating theatre to pursue my career and continue to work at a senior level in a nursing speciality that I enjoy.
So I have been employed by Airedale NHS Trust since 1991 throughout my nursing career. I have seen many changes during these twenty seven years at Airedale.
What do you enjoy about your job?
Every day is varied and I enjoy the challenge of caring for different patients with often complex conditions. I feel privileged to be part of a patient’s surgical journey when they are often at their most vulnerable – it is an invaluable skill of a theatre nurse to be able to quickly build up a rapport and empathise with patients.
New technologies continue to develop and change the way surgery is carried out so there is always a need to expand and develop my knowledge. Theatre has a large team of staff who are dedicated to providing the best specialised care possible for patients and are able to pull together to ensure patients have a positive experience.
What do you enjoy about working at Airedale?
The friendly atmosphere at Airedale has kept me working here. Over the years I have seen staff retire and they have been valued to the end of their career. I am coming to the end of my career knowing that I too feel valued for all the time I have worked here at Airedale.
What do you do outside of work?
I enjoy spending time out of work with my family and I attend Zumba classes with my teenage daughter. I like to keep myself fit and well, so I am also a member of a local gym. I love taking long walks outdoors whenever I can and I always like to take a sunny holiday once year.