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Hello, my name is Samantha Burgess and I am the matron for the Bristol Eye Hospital. I qualified in 2009 as an adult nurse, after doing three years nursing training in the trust. I was also on the bank as a nursing assistant for two years before I qualified. My first job was on ward 12, which was lower gastrointestinal. It was there that I became a mentor and a finals mentor.
I was there for three years and then I moved on to South Bristol Community Hospital. It was there I learned endoscopy, and after 18 months, I got the band 6 senior staff nurse role. I was there about six years in total, and when I came back from maternity leave, I started the band six development course. This then led to a secondment post for the bowel cancer screening programmes as the band seven sister there, and then subsequently, the band seven sister for the Queen’s Day Union. I moved onto a matron post, band 8, in November just gone.
I’m local to Bristol and I didn’t know where I wanted my nursing career to go when I started. I’d done all my training here, I’d had a really good experience, so I started out on the ward until I knew what path I wanted to take. And doors have just opened—I don’t think any of the positions I’ve actually taken are what I’d been planning to do myself, it’s just it’s created so many avenues for me. I’ll stay here now because the progression is there, the opportunities there and the team’s great.
I would say don’t let your personal circumstances prevent you from trying, for going for something, because they have been very supportive for me, my needs and my daughter’s. If you’ve got the right attributes, we want you, so apply. It may not perfectly fit your situation, a job that’s out there and advertised, but go for it—actually, it could be that we want you, and we will make it work for you.
Samantha Burgess is one of the 1.5 million valued NHS employees making a difference in the lives of people across the UK. Learn more about joining Samantha by building a career with the NHS at the University Hospitals Bristol and Weston NHS Foundation Trust website. We look forward to working with you!