A nurse at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust has shared her experiences after progressing from the role of healthcare assistant to a unit manager of an endoscopy department.
Newly-appointed Chorley and South Ribble Hospital Endoscopy Manager Christine Roberts joined Lancashire Teaching Hospitals as a Band 2 Healthcare Assistant in November 2009.
Christine began her healthcare career working with dementia patients in care homes, but decided to join Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in 2009 after experiencing two family tragedies.
She said: “I had lost my father to oesophageal cancer in 2002 and my brother to bowel cancer in 2008 aged just 39. I needed a new focus and direction after having a lot of sadness and grief and wanted to give something back to the NHS after the care and treatment we had experienced during their illnesses.”
Christine initially worked on the Medical Assessment Unit at Royal Preston Hospital, and within a year had progressed to a Band 3 role and been accepted on the Trust’s in-house Band 4 Assistant Practitioner training programme. As part of the programme Christine completed an 18-month foundation degree at University of Central Lancashire.
By 2013 Christine was ready for a new challenge, and took on the role of Assistant Practitioner in the Endoscopy Unit at Preston. Two years later she was offered the chance to study at UCLAN for a further two years, funded by the Trust, to gain a full nursing degree.
Christine said: “This was an opportunity which I absolutely jumped at! I had tried to become a nurse in my late teens but here I was at 41 about to become a student at uni once more.”
Graduating with a 2:1 in 2018, Christine returned to the Endoscopy Unit as a nurse.
She said: “I loved being back on the unit and felt good to finally be a qualified nurse after all the blood sweat and tears of all the studying in my 40s.
“Within 14 months I applied and secured the band 6 Sister post on a 6-month secondment and then the permanent position of Sister which I have now held for the past two years.
“Now, I have just been successful in securing the Band 7 Endoscopy Manager position at Chorley and I am absolutely over the moon how far I have come. With hard work and dedication you can really make a difference to our patients’ experience and follow your dreams to success.
“I am extremely proud and wouldn’t be here but for all the fantastic people who worked with me and supported me through all my time at RPH - we have some wonderful people within our teams and have helped me through all my training and supported me when I have needed it most.”
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Nursing, Midwifery and Allied Health Professions Director Sarah Cullen said: “Christine’s story is incredibly inspiring and shows the opportunities that are available to everyone who works for Lancashire Teaching Hospitals.
“We have so many fantastic colleagues, and helping them to develop, grow and reach their potential is something that is very important to us as a Trust.
“We are a very large provider of employment across our community and we want to make sure that people who live in our communities come to work for us and they realise that there is a whole range of opportunities out there. If you have ambitions to get on, then this is the place to work.
“I would like to wish Christine all the best in her new role, and look forward to seeing her career continue to develop in the years to come.”