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Photo: Chris Kent

Chris Kent's story

Chris was in the fortunate position of having three job offers when he qualified as a nurse. But for a young man with a clear career path in mind, there was only one hospital for him – Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB).

Chris joined the Clinical Decision Unit (CDU), in April 2016: “My ultimate goal is to work in critical care and this hospital has the largest unit in Europe, so for me, the decision to work here was easy.

“CDU is giving me a good grounding in all aspects of nursing because we have a busy A&E department, so we see a wide range of conditions and people coming through the doors.

“I had a few placements here when I was a student and I loved the atmosphere of being at the sharp end of the hospital.

“Technology is a big part of what goes on here at QEHB – systems provide so much analysis about what is happening on the unit.

“At first it seems like a lot to learn, but the systems are very user-friendly – after just two or three shifts, using the clinical dashboards was as easy as writing on paper.”

For Chris, the flexibility in shift patterns and the hospital’s links with the military are also important factors: “In addition to being an NHS nurse, I'm also part of the reserve medical corps, so being able to work alongside military colleagues in my day-to-day role means I have the benefit of their wisdom.

“The relationship between the hospital and the military means the Trust is very accommodating in letting me co-ordinate my leave with my reservist exercises – they understand it is important to me on a personal level and I am grateful for that.”

Being part of a close-knit team has huge appeal to Chris: “I’ve have learnt so much since I started and I am enjoying being part of a team that loves what they do and are willing to spend the time with you to help you develop.

“At the end of their shift we make the effort to go and say goodbye to everyone. I think it's really important to say goodbye to all of my patients when I leave so they know I have handed over their care to my colleague, and it’s nice to show our colleagues that we care about them too.”