60 seconds with nursing home matron Sue Paxton
Don't be driven by others' expectations, listen to yourself and take the career path that fulfils you, says nursing home matron Sue Paxton.
Don't be driven by others' expectations, listen to yourself and take the career path that fulfils you, says nursing home matron Sue Paxton
Sue Paxton says her best lesson from nursing is to show
determination in the face of adversity.
After qualifying as a nurse in the late 1970s, Sue Paxton worked on a female medical ward and in theatres before doing midwifery training. After working as a midwife and on female surgical wards as a nurse, she became a clinical teacher at Wycombe General Hospital in Buckinghamshire. She is currently matron at the Leonard Pulham Nursing Home in Buckinghamshire.
What are your main work responsibilities?
Maintaining high standards of care at the nursing home and ensuring things run smoothly.
How did you get your job?
I visited many care settings while training nurses and carers, and always said that if the manager’s post became available at this home I would apply.
Who are your clients/patients?
The nursing home’s 34 frail, elderly residents.
What do you love about your job?
Talking with residents about their lives and working with the home’s exceptional staff.
What do you find most difficult?
Delegating and not having enough time in the day.
What is your top priority at work?
Investing time and resources in staff development, and interacting with the residents.
What has been your most formative career experience?
Supporting my 27-year-old daughter through the acute phase of a major stroke had a significant impact on my career. It showed me what true human resilience and endurance look like.
If you hadn’t become a nurse, what would you have done instead?
I applied to do medicine initially, but didn’t get the grades due to my mother’s ill health. But looking after my mother fuelled my passion for caring, and I am glad I changed direction.
What is the best lesson nursing has taught you?
Self-discipline and determination in the face of adversity.
What career advice would you give your younger self?
Don’t be driven by the expectations of others, listen to yourself and take the career path that fulfils you.