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Develop your UK Nursing Career: Being a Band 6

For the past few months, we have been sharing stories of our fellow Filipino Nurses on various specialisms. This week, we would like to inspire and share how you can move up the ladder. Meet Ross, a Band 6 Theatre Charge Nurse, in one of the NHS Trusts in England. He will share how he got the role, skills & knowledge he had to acquire and his future aspirations.

I am Ross, currently a Theatre Charge Nurse (Band 6), working in the Operating Theatre Department in one of the NHS Trusts in England. I arrived in the United Kingdom in 2011 as a Theatre Nurse.

How did you get the role?

As a multi-skilled theatre nurse, I had the opportunity to be allocated to different specialities and theatre teams. These enabled me to know how each speciality work and how to deal with different personalities. It was hard at first as you cannot find a routine and you always have to adjust your ways of leading (depending on the team) but I took it as a learning experience. This equipped me into becoming a more profound leader who is not only able to perform all the necessary procedures (per speciality), troubleshoot problems, but also handle a team, especially when conflict arises. And when a post became available, I tried my luck, applied for it, and luckily, got the post.

Are there any skills a Nurse needs to have or courses they need to take before they can apply for band 6?

Previously, before I got the post, I needed to have at least my mentorship course completed. You also need to be an expert on the specialities that you will be required to lead. But aside from that, just bring your leadership and resiliency skills every day at work, and then you will be fine.

What is unique about your current role as a Theatre Charge Nurse?

As a Theatre Charge Nurse, we are responsible for our daily operating lists, our team, the equipment and supplies that we use, making sure all juniors and students are looked after and most importantly, our patient's safety. But I think what might set us apart from others, aside from our technical skills and attention to detail, is our ability to make use of our problem solving and critical thinking skills in highly stressful situations, being able to make quick and effective decisions when tension arises.

What are the challenges you are facing in your current role?

As of the moment, the challenges as we speak, are the influx of Covid-19 patients, the continuous change in practices in order to provide the safest service to our patients, making sure staff are compliant, and managing staff shortage due to sickness. Another challenge that I should highlight would be dealing with your staff's emotional statuses as the current pandemic has pushed everyone to work beyond their limits.

What’s next for you? What do you aspire next?

Hmm.. I would like to make the world a better place. Kidding aside, given the chance, if there is an opportunity for career advancement, I would like to look after students / learners as a Practice Educator. I always believe that the best way to provide efficient and safe practising nurses is by making sure they have good learning foundation. I am also open to the opportunity in looking after a bigger team or department as a Theatre Manager or a Lead Practitioner for a specific speciality.

Do you have any tips for other junior nurses who aspire to grow their career?

The world is your oyster. You are your only limit. If you tell yourself you can't, then you won't. Create and give yourself a list of goals and make plans on how you would achieve them. Whenever you are having a bad day, go back again to your list and focus on what you want to achieve. Sooner than later, you won't even know, how much you have learnt and how close you already are in reaching your goals.

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