Hot off the back of last week's Health Matters event, here's more about our new Lead Cancer Nurse, Caroline Summers, who describes her role as innovative, rewarding and collaborative. Read more from her below.
Hello my name is… Caroline Summers. I live in Holmfirth with my husband and son, our two springer spaniels and guinea pig, Alfred. My daughter is currently in Italy studying, I take full advantage by booking in regular visits!
What is your current role and career background? I qualified as a registered nurse in 1991 and have worked in Acute Oncology, Intermediate Care, Primary Care, Community Services and then as a Community Matron after qualifying as an Advanced Nurse Practitioner. More recently, I’ve worked for West Yorkshire & Harrogate Cancer Alliance within the ‘Living With & Beyond Cancer’ programme. I started my role as Lead Cancer Nurse in March.
What is the highlight of your career so far? Being nominated for the Nursing Times, Nurse of the Year award and making it to the final 5. Albeit what feels like many moons ago!
Sum up your role in three words Innovative, rewarding and collaborative.
Who is your hero/heroine and why? My dad is my hero for so many reasons! He had a busy job, (so did my mum in case she reads this), but he always devoted his weekends to my desire to spend every minute with him. His patience, love, honesty and guidance have influenced who I am today.
What did you want to be growing up? When I was younger, I wanted to be The Bionic Woman. I was given trainers with her stickers on for my birthday and proceeded to jump down a flight of stairs. Unfortunately, my abilities didn’t match hers as my leg required a cast afterwards, the whole ordeal forcing me to acknowledge The Bionic Woman dream was not for me.
When you are not at work, how do you relax? 21,000 steps or more of spaniel walking in the beautiful countryside.
What would people be surprised to know about you? Without fail and no price tags attached I can choose the most expensive item in a shop. I think it’s a gift, but my husband begs to differ!
Advice to anyone starting out in the NHS? Listen to people, truly listen – don’t just hear what they say.