Karl Emms, Lead Nurse for Patient Safety | Staff profiles

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Karl Emms, Lead Nurse for Patient Safety

“I started working at Birmingham Children’s Hospital in September 1996 and apart from five years at another trust and a 19-month career break I have been at our Trust for my whole career.

“I was inspired to get into nursing when I saw a male nurse dressing my friend’s football injury in the Emergency Department at Heartlands Hospital. I’d never thought about being a nurse before then (in fact I was in the process of applying to be an airline pilot) but once I started in nursing I never looked back.

“My current job as Lead for Patient Safety requires me to look at our clinical processes and investigate if there are ways we can make them safer. We can all make mistakes, no matter how experienced or senior we are. When I review a system or procedure, I am looking for ways to change it to make it even more likely that we get it right. We are much more safety focussed now than in the past. We learn from each other’s incidents because we can share them easily using our reporting systems. Getting this role is the best thing that’s happened to me since I started working here as it’s the most fascinating and enjoyable job I’ve ever had.

“In my time here I have been lucky enough to work with some very forward thinking and supportive managers. This has allowed me to develop in the roles I’ve had and learn new skills. My own career has seen me work in various roles both clinically, in education and now in safety. That is one of the great aspects of being a nurse, there are so many opportunities to develop and progress and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s is a great place to do that.

“I can sum up what I like best about working here in one word; “friendliness”. There is a buzz about working here and it’s great when I go to different departments and am constantly greeted with smiles and hellos. It makes the working day so much nicer!”