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Claire, Nurse


My name’s Claire Gilbert and I’m lead nurse at Market Harborough Medical Centre.

Looking at the Ladybird books, do you think your job is like the one depicted in the book?

I think the role has changed dramatically from what it depicts in the book. I think it appears historically nurses were workers and did very little thinking of their own, whereas nowadays a nursing degree is a three year long hard course, nurses now work much more autonomously and have to make clinical decisions and do far more than they used to have to do.

What things have stayed the same between now and then?

Biologically the body is the same, that hasn’t changed from years ago. The role needing compassion and a caring personality hasn’t changed. We just are expected now to know more, do more, and be able to assess and make decisions independently, without having to go to the doctor every five minutes, because the doctors themselves are very busy. But with our increased knowledge, we can now make decisions and treatment plans for patients that are thought out and valued by the doctors, as well as the patients themselves.

What makes your job special?

Within general practice I think it’s special because you get to know the patients, nursing is different in different roles, depending on where you work. Having worked in A&E and the fast pacedness of A&E it’s all special in different ways. I think being a practice nurse you see children, when I do childhood immunisations at eight weeks old, right through life to dressing a wound of a ninety-three year old. I think it’s being able to go through life’s journey with patients, I think that makes it special.

Have you always worked in Harborough?

I’ve worked in Market Harborough for the last two years, prior to that I worked in A&E at Leicester Royal, both roles have been challenging and within nursing everyday is a learning day. I’ve just completed a masters module within practice nursing because I wasn’t experienced in practice nursing, I’d come from an acute setting. It’s different, enjoyable, taxing, but wonderful all at the same time.

What is special about doing your job in the Harborough area?

I think being a part of the community, seeing the same people and people coming back to see you as their health improves, and even, it sounds silly, going into a local supermarket and seeing a patient and they say, ‘Oh, this is the nurse that made me better!’ It’s nice being local and within the community, living and working here.