The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife - Carolyn Skinner

Rounding off our Year of the Nurse and Midwife, we hear from Carolyn Skinner about her journey from being a nurse in Greenock in 1978 to her current role as Clinical Informatician with NSS Digital and Security.

I decided to train as a nurse because I wanted to help people. The more I read about Florence Nightingale, Louisa Jordan and other nurse leaders, the more I wanted to do it.

My NHS career began in 1978 in Greenock, I moved to a variety of NHS Scotland Health Boards and clinical experience in specialisms from surgical and orthopaedic to palliative care and infectious diseases.

I decided that I wanted to do more and after graduating led into a research post in cancer care and subsequently published a paper. Other posts followed, as a programme manager in the dental public health called Childsmile, managed clinical networks, quality improvement, practice education and currently in eHealth since joining NSS in 2013.

In my current role as Clinical Informatician, I’ve become a fellow of the Faculty of Clinical Informatics and work as part of a small multidisciplinary team who have a national remit to support clinical informatics in Scotland. Our team is a core part of NSS Digital and Security business unit supporting clinical information, technology and communication systems that are provided nationally throughout NHS Scotland.

The team are working on all areas of Information Technology and data flows for COVID-19 deployment such as Test and Protect and now Vaccination. We have also been providing the clinical assurance in the use of O365 mail. Team working is intense but rewarding to see our clinical expertise being effectively used and sought by colleagues.

I enjoy seeing technology being brought to its most interactive state and reflect back to 1997 when PC’s were first brought onto wards. How times have changed! Anyone thinking of becoming a nurse I would say go for it. There are many roles out there and Clinical Informatics for nursing and care is just one example of an exciting field.

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