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MEET THE STAFF – HELEN HUDSON Hi, I’m the new Practice Nurse on the block! I realised I wanted to be a nurse after doing a dissertation in the health field for my first degree in Development Studies followed by some volunteering as an auxiliary nurse in a hospital. My Mum is a Practice Nurse and was surprised but happy that I would follow in both her and her mother’s footsteps. My nursing career officially started in 2004 at Kings College London University. I was lucky enough to have my practical training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospitals and managed to qualify with a first class degree. My first job was Staff Nurse on a busy Gynaecology Ward at St Thomas’ Hospital. I decided that I would like to further my training so then went to The Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea and studied for a Diploma in Cancer Nursing while working on a variety of cancer wards. I settled down working on their Medical Day Unit (where cancer patients go to get chemotherapy and other supportive treatments) and the Outpatients Unit (supporting the Consultants and patients). This was a thoroughly rewarding place to work because you could support patients and their families during their darkest moments. Ever since I knew I wanted to be a nurse, I also knew that I wanted to be a Practice Nurse because I am a virtual clone of my mother and if she loves it then so would I! (This cloning extends to the love of gardening and baking!) Crown Street Surgery was generous enough to agree to my request for work experience in the Spring of 2009. Fiona, Mala and the team were very welcoming and confirmed by belief that practice nursing was the right career for me. Practice nursing is a thoroughly diverse and varied job ranging from baby immunisations to phlebotomy services (I’m the queen bee around here for challenging veins apparently!). We also do blood pressure and diabetes check-ups and advice, ear syringing, weight loss (and rarely gaining) advice, asthma and other respiratory disease management, as well as attending to all sorts of wound care needs. I am currently studying on a Family Planning and Sexual Health course. I am an extremely lucky nurse (as you are patients!) to have such a supportive and competent team helping me. I have certainly tested Fiona’s teaching skills, but she has come up trumps every time! My most memorable day here was the first Baby Clinic alone without Fiona, I was absolutely petrified of doing something wrong but managed to get through it safely and have done plenty more since then! I also enjoy doing the evening commuter clinics on a Tuesday and Thursday evening because the patients appreciate them so much.
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