I trained and nursed at London teaching hospitals. I always believed the mantra that 'if you need a hip operation then go privately but if it's something serious then go straight to the NHS - all the better if it's a teaching hospital.' The underlying suggestion being that private hospitals were only good at basic procedures.
When I heard about the Matron's role here at The London Clinic I did begin to question whether a move over to a private hospital would be a career mistake. This was possibly prompted by the comment that 'you will get bored very quickly, it's not that exciting'.
But that could not have been further from the truth.
I realise that The London Clinic is a charity and not part of a big conglomerate but it's still a private facility, so considered part of the 'dont go near it if you are really sick'. I have only been here five months and I don't ever remember being on such a steep learning curve.
I know I can only talk about this particular private hospital, The London Clinic, (and it is known for its leading edge technology and care) but me - getting bored, here? Somehow I doubt it.
Organ transplantation, Rapid Arc gated radiotherapy (something I really, really wanted to be able to offer in my teaching hospital), surgery that can only be done here because of the latest equipment and specialist nursing teams, a commitment to caring for every patient before and after treatment, an amazing team in the intensive care unit (11 beds and they still want more so they can do even more to care for patients with complex needs)... When on earth could boredom set in?
And every day as the most senior nurse in this fascinating place I get to see patients - and it's expected that I deliver care on a daily basis. It's my job. It's what I have trained everyday since I was 18 to do. Its what I love. And everyday I meet the teams who are committed to caring for our patients, the non-clinical teams as well as the clinical teams and I wonder, why on earth it took me so long to get here.