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Career advice

Voluntary sector: feel-good posts outside the NHS offer job satisfaction

Information specialist nurse Ellen Watters offers advice to those wanting to move out of the health service
Ellen Watters

Ellen Watters worked as a staff nurse in the NHS before becoming an information specialist nurse for cancer charity Myeloma UK, a post she has held for more than 13 years.

Her role involves running a nurse-led telephone helpline for patients, families and other healthcare professionals; offering clinical and emotional support from time of diagnosis through to end of life; and many other responsibilities such as answering emails and presenting at patient information days.

How does the voluntary sector help to improve patient care?

‘I’m often told that doctors and nurses don’t have the time to answer questions or provide emotional support, so patients are left feeling vulnerable, isolated and unsure of what is happening.

‘The voluntary sector helps to bridge this gap by taking a holistic view, listening to feedback


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