Priscilla Scott has worked as a nurse for 45 years across wards and theatres both as a permanent team member and as a locum before recently starting a new career as Nurse Manager with Head Medical in their locum Theatre and Nursing Team. We asked Priscilla to share some of her story with us…
When did you decide on nursing as a career?
I always wanted to be a nurse, as a child, I had a toy hospital for my dolls and that was the start of my dream. They had a café too, so they were well looked after!
What attracted you to Theatres?
As a student nurse, I loved my Theatre placement. During that time, I remember being scrubbed for a urology procedure. I felt very privileged that, as a student, the team thought I was capable and competent to work at the theatre table with a Consultant surgeon. They all gave me the “thumbs up”.
The enjoyment I got from my short time in theatres never really left me and I always had a hankering to get back into this environment. So, two sons and many years of ward nursing later, I learnt to drive and applied for a post in theatre at Law Hospital in South Lanarkshire.
During this time, I became a member of the West of Scotland AfPP committee, helping to organise study days for everyone to attend. We were proud to be the last committee to be “Host Branch” at the annual conference in Harrogate, some years ago, before AfPP changed their format.
It has been a very busy, but fulfilling 45 years over various locations, with my last NHS specialism being Cardio-Thoracic and Cardiology Theatres. Applying for and being successful in gaining a Theatre Sister post in this area meant so much to me. I remember being so nervous during my presentation for the panel that I couldn’t even pour myself a glass of water!
You have also worked as an agency locum, how was this different and can you tell us about some of the places you worked?
Four and a half years of agency work followed, with some assignments being long term. Agency/locum work allows you the freedom to choose when you want to work and for how long, offering a good life/work balance. You have to be confident in your own ability and recognise your limits. I worked in Aberdeen for 19 months and became a part of the team. It was lovely to be invited to join my colleagues on days and occasional nights out, I enjoyed bowling which hadn’t done for years! It’s great to still be in touch with my colleagues now.
My time in Guernsey was a beautiful setting in which to work. I used to go round the island on the bus on my days off. It was the first time I had used video calls on my iPad with my family. Whilst in Jersey, I saw a live concert recording at the Opera House, featuring Elton John in Las Vegas. All this and work too!
We are currently recruiting for a nurse to work in Guernsey – click here to find out more!
Do you have any advice for agency workers?
I recommend working as an agency locum, it is a good way to expand your experiences and skills. At Head Medical we suggest you have at least 18 months post-registration experience in the perioperative environment. The more skills you have, the better, as it allows us to offer a wider variety of assignments. A bit of advice as an agency worker would be to remember that you are not only a guest in the hospital but also a representative of Head Medial. Respect works both ways.
Having joined Head Medical as Nurse Manager I am thoroughly enjoying the transition from Theatre to my office-based post. It has been made easier working with a very friendly, helpful and welcoming team. My role is to vet all potential candidates and ensure the relevant compliance is in place before joining our active locum team. But it is more than that, for us having a long-term supportive relationship with our locum workers is at the forefront of what we do. I am here to support with ongoing CPD training and learning as well as appraisals and support when our locums need a sounding board on a particular issue that they might have come across clinically.
I am enjoying contacting all the Nursing and ODP staff currently registered with us and it has been great to hear so many positive stories of their experience with Head Medical as an agency locum.
Conducting phone interviews and appraisals is a bit different, but necessary in the current climate but I look forward to meeting our locum team and clients face to face as soon as is safe to do so. I believe that my perioperative experience enhances my role in that I am able to understand what is expected of our staff in the theatre setting, enabling me to fully support them.
Once the restrictions are lifted, I would like to continue to develop our training and CPD opportunities for all of our Nursing and ODP staff. I look forward to meeting you all in person.
To speak to Priscilla and the team regarding locum opportunities in theatres or acute – please get in touch today at firstname.lastname@example.org or call the team on 0131 240 5288