Mum-of-two Natasha Salmon started her nursing career in 2010, working as a healthcare assistant on Ward 513 at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) before training as nurse via a local university secondment programme.
Following the completion of her course in 2015, Natasha took up a position as a registered staff nurse on the ward that inspired her to become a nurse: “I had no doubt that I wanted to return to QEHB and most importantly my ward, Ward 513.
“Once you’ve been here and experienced the training and the support, you don’t want to leave.
“The preceptorship programme is second to none and you are encouraged to learn new skills and expand your knowledge – I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else.
“My manager encouraged my development as a healthcare assistant, supported my decision to further my career through allowing me flexibility in my working hours to accommodate returning to college, as well as providing me with the opportunity to be seconded.”
Natasha is currently developing her skills in diabetes care and is undertaking regular training to become her ward "expert" in diabetic nursing.
“Each ward has link nurses – these are nurses who have taken on extra training and education on a particular subject such as diabetes, tissue viability or dementia,” explains Natasha.
“As a link nurse you gain specific expertise in that area of nursing and you are taught how to train other nurses on the ward in caring for patients with those conditions.
“You become the expert, which helps you grow in confidence and gives you an advantage should you want to go for a more senior or specialist role.
“There many opportunities to carve your own career path – you can go into nurse education, become a clinical nurse specialist, take on research projects or progress into ward management if you want to.
“There are so many facilities here to help you too. Not many hospitals boast a huge library where you can access medical journals; I like to go and read up on a topic or condition – it’s such a fantastic resource!
“My team is like a family, I’ve worked with them throughout my career and I am proud to be a part of the team. The QE is the only hospital for me.”