NEARLY 6,000 nurses work in Sheffield, caring for people in hospitals, clinics and in their own homes. This week, to celebrate International Nurses Week, The Star is profiling a different nurse each day as part of our series celebrating the unsung heroes of the NHS.
“BEING a nurse is part of who I am,” said Claire Smith.
“My friends say if they cut me in half it would spell out nurse. It’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Claire, aged 31, of High Green, works as a practice development adviser at the Northern General Hospital, training nurses and support workers in the latest research and best practice.
She qualified as a nurse nine years ago, working in intensive care for five years before moving into education and training.
“I loved clinical work,” she said. “I could really make a difference to that one patient I was working with.
“But in this job I can make a difference to a lot more people.
“By improving the way we work, changing the practices based on evidence-based research, we can improve our patients’ experience.”
Claire grew up in Ecclesall and went to Siverdale School, before training as a nurse at Sheffield Hallam University.
“I always knew I wanted to work with people and work in the health care sector,” she said.
“I just love the diversity, you are doing something different every day, meeting different people.”
Claire, one of three practice development advisors in Sheffield Teaching Hospitals’ surgical services division, works with the hospitals’ different specialists to see how services can be improved.
She then puts together training packages, teaching students as well as qualified nurses.
She mostly carries out sessions in the classroom but also teaches practical skills on the wards.
“I love teaching,” she said. “It’s that wonderful lightbulb moment - watching someone suddenly click, and you know they understand what you are saying.”
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