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Sylvia’s Story

Falling back in love with nursing

After a period where she was unsure whether she would continue as a nurse, Sylvia joined our team at The Harley Street Clinic at the end of 2021 and hasn’t looked back! When she’s not working as our Lead Breast Care Nurse Specialist she spends her time seeing friends and family, caring for her houseplants, fitting in regular Pilates classes on most days and is a keen swimmer. We checked in with her recently to see how she’s settled in to her role at HCA UK and find out more about how she’s fallen back in love with nursing.

So, tell us a bit about yourself?

I still feel relatively new to HCA UK and have been here for just over a year now – I’m currently working as a Lead Breast Care Nurse Specialist part-time three days a week at The Harley Street Clinic. I originally joined HCA UK as a Breast Clinical Nurse specialist but wasn’t in the role for long before an opportunity arose for me to move into the position I’m in now.

Outside of work I do a lot to keep active, I love my Pilates (I think any woman over 50 needs to give it a try!) and I want to try and get into outdoor swimming as I’ve heard it does wonders for your physical and mental health. Between my work and keeping healthy, I make sure I go and see my friends regularly and I’m looking forward to marrying my incredibly supportive partner!

Where did you work before HCA UK?

After working in the NHS for the majority of my career, I decided I needed a break as working in cancer services was taking its toll. At the time, I wasn’t even sure I wanted to continue my career in nursing. I originally planned to have just a short three-month break to re-evaluate and recharge, but three months became a year and then Covid happened and I ended up taking a part-time job in dermatology.

Why did you choose HCA UK?

Honestly, I don’t remember applying but I’m incredibly glad I did! I got a call from one of the recruitment team and came in for an informal chat and then an interview and straight away it felt like somewhere I wanted to work. The facilities themselves were incredible and also, I just got a great feeling from everyone I met, the team were so personable and friendly. It felt like a really good fit and everyone seemed to have the same drive and energy that I had. They even accommodated my request for part-time hours with no issues at all.

How have you found HCA UK since you’ve joined?

Within the first couple of weeks I could already feel such a big difference, senior leadership are very engaged with their colleagues and there’s a genuine sense of wanting to get to know you and what ideas you can bring to the table. It felt like I truly had a voice, would be listened to and that my experience counted for something which is why I feel I was able to progress so quickly from being a CNS to Lead Nurse. Working on Harley Street as well you’d be forgiven for thinking there’s not a large clinical site around you! I’m really enjoying the time I get with patients as well, having the time to deliver truly individualised care is something you can’t put a price on.

What would you say to someone thinking of leaving nursing?

I’d say give HCA UK a try! Like many, I became a nurse because I have a genuine desire to help people and make a difference, and here I feel you can truly do that. If I’d joined HCA UK sooner I don’t know if I will have needed that break, I may still have, but looking back at where I was to where I am now I’m so glad I stuck with it. I don’t think I could have found another career that’s so rewarding.

Are you ready to fall back in love with nursing?

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