General Management

My Journey Here

Posted by Rachel Coldbeck, 20 Oct 2017

Growing up around nurses and doctors inspired me to become a nurse. As a child, and teenager, I was heavily involved in St John Ambulance and spent a large proportion of my weekends doing events and activities related to this. One of my more unusual hobbies was to compete in first aid, and nobody quite believes me when I say there were local, regional and national rounds to this. I spent weeks training to compete in some pretty intense first aid competitions! I loved being around all the health professionals and that confirmed I needed to follow suit. I get travel sick in ambulances so knew being a paramedic wasn’t for me; I went off to University in Norwich to study mental health nursing and ran a St John Ambulance Cadet group in my spare time.

Since those days, I have worked in many different environments include an acute mental health ward and liaison services across two different A+E Departments. I’ve had the opportunity to work across three very different Trusts – one being down on the South coast and two in the Midlands. I’ve met the most amazing patients and staff and heard some of the most humbling and amazing stories. I’ve had the opportunity to meet thousands of people who use the NHS and heard many experiences they have had. One of my highlights was a poem written by one of my first patients on a ward – I’d spent time whilst I was placed there teaching him English GCSE. He wrote it as a thank you when I left. I’ve also worked with some fantastic colleagues who do their upmost for everyone, all the time.

Joining the graduate scheme is a change in role and exciting new experience for me. There are definitely regional and national differences in the quality of management and leadership in the NHS. I knew patients and colleagues deserved the best I could be and that prompted my application to the scheme.  As I was getting ready to move into a more managerial position it dawned on me that I wasn’t sure I had all the skills I wanted or needed to have to become a good leader. Some of my colleagues definitely thought I was making a very bizarre decision, but two weeks in I am definitely sure I’m not!

I’m going to blog the journey over the next two years. Whether I go back to clinical management, or head somewhere else, I know that the skills I learn over the next 2 years I can take forward for the rest of my career.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to ask them on either twitter @HSCRachel or rachel.coldbeck1@nhs.net.

Rachel Coldbeck

Rachel Coldbeck

2017 intake

Prior to joining the scheme I worked as a mental health nurse within the NHS for 4 years largely within A+E Depts. Whilst working in different Trusts it was clear that leadership and management quality was really diverse and I witnessed the effect this had on patients and staff which prompted my application.  In my free time I am a keen brass band member and I am also continuing to work on a distance learning MSc in healthcare.

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