Raymond Atienza-Hawkes, charge nurse at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, works in an ambulatory assessment unit and also features in a Marks & Spencer campaign to raise funds for NHS charities
How would you describe your role to someone you’ve just met?
“I manage a team that provides same-day emergency care to acutely unwell patients and day case management of complex medical patients. This is working closely with a multidisciplinary team of doctors, nurses, pharmacists, specialist therapists and other specialities. Patients go home the same day following assessment and intervention.”
What does your typical working day look like?
“Every day is different working in an ambulatory unit, as our patients come in for various reasons and most times with complex co-morbidities. We have an idea of what patients are coming in for, but their needs vary.”
What made you want to become a nurse?
“From a young age, my grandfather has always mentioned to me I would be good in a ‘caring profession’. I didn’t know what he meant at that time, but since qualifying, and from the day I started my first job, I realised that nursing is truly my passion and career.”
What attracted you to your current role?
“Ambulatory care is a fairly new concept in the medical management of patients. It was the right time and opportunity to change roles and further enhance my career background.”
Who has had the biggest impact on your career?
“I have met and known a number of inspirational and influential leaders in my career. But it was a colleague early in my career that made a huge lasting impact on me. It was a time when her daughter was a patient of mine and I spent a lot of time caring for her. She gave me heartfelt feedback that confirmed my true passion for nursing.”
What do you enjoy most about your role?
“We work in a non-hierarchical environment; from cleaners to consultants, we call each other by first name. This is something important to me, that everyone is involved and has a voice in how we deliver our care.”
What’s been the stand-out moment in your career so far?
“When Oxford Hospital Charity approached me to be part of a national campaign on how NHS Charities Together and a major retailer raised funds for charity. I have always been an advocate for our hospital charity and all the work they do especially supporting the staff and their welfare. To be chosen for this campaign was a great privilege and it’s an honour to be able to represent our diverse, hardworking, dedicated workforce across Oxford University NHS Foundation Trust.”
What are your ambitions for the future?
“I really enjoy my current role and want to further develop myself as a leader. I see myself going towards the managerial ladder but still working alongside my frontline colleagues. I want to be part of a team that is constantly innovating and striving for ways to improve the care we deliver for our patients.”
What advice would you give to someone who wanted a job like yours?
“A career in nursing is a calling. It is often challenging, physically and mentally but when you know you have made a difference in someone’s life, it makes it all worthwhile.”
Name: Raymond Atienza-Hawkes
Job title: Charge nurse
Employer: Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Salary (or range/band): Band 7
Average hours worked: Full time – 37.5 hours
- Charge nurse, ambulatory assessment unit (2016-present);
- Charge nurse, short stay ward (2013-16);
- Deputy charge nurse, medical assessment unit (2005-3);
- Band 5 staff nurse, medical assessment unit (2002-5);
- Came over from Philippines as overseas adaptation nurse and completed competencies within three months (2001-2).
Qualifications: BSc nursing; PG Cert in leading compassionate excellence; various courses and modules completed