After becoming a Locality Manager working with health visitors out of St John’s Health Centre, Tina Suthers wanted to develop her skills in management. She'd already successfully been put forward and completed the NHS Leadership Academy course for Frontline Nursing. So it was a natural progression to apply and complete the Mary Seacole** Post Graduate Certificate in Leadership in collaboration with the Open University.
Tina is now proudly waiting to hear when her graduation ceremony takes place and is already putting some of the techniques she learned to good use in her role. She had to complete nine modules in total. Some of the studies were classroom based over weekends, with the majority completed online – including submitting five assignments of at least 3000 words! About the course, she said: “It was really useful to get the perspectives on what the other people on the course felt; it wasn’t all about nursing and all areas of the NHS were represented.
"The course has particularly given me insight into dealing with change, conflict and what makes people behave in certain ways. It’s made me really look at my own style and realise that we can only see the surface of what’s going on with colleagues, and we should recognise that everyone has walked a different path to bring them to this point. This often influences their behaviour, so the more we understand this the more we can adapt our leadership styles and approaches."
Here's more from Tina on Leadership
Three words which sum up a good leader? Listener, inspirational, fairminded.
Who are your heroes? Steven Gerrard (ex Liverpool captain) because he was inspirational, loyal, a team player and garnered the respect of his peers and fans by the way he conducted himself on the pitch. My female hero is Emmeline Pankhurst, which seems even more poignant at present given the recent EU referendum, but it was because of Emmeline’s passion and commitment to the cause for women to have the vote that motivated her to such extremes as hunger strikes whilst in Holloway prison.
How do you face tricky situations? When faced with tricky situations I think that I always take time to process the issue, no knee jerk reactions but think things through, and always look at the positives of what we can do/influence instead of wasting time and energy on things that we can’t.
What's best about your job? What gives me most pleasure as a leader is receiving really positive feedback from clients about members of our staff because they have gone the extra mile for them, and made a difference in their lives which has a massive impact on the lives of the children. I am incredibly proud of the Health Visiting Service and the service that we are able to offer to the families in Calderdale, and I count myself privileged to be a part of it.
** Mary Seacole was born in Jamaica in 1805 and made her name as a hero nurse after following Florence Nightingale out to the Crimean war. She came to Britian in 1854 and went to the battlefield in the following year. She nursed sick and wounded soldiers risking her life by caring for them in the field where she earned reputation for her bravery and her care. When battles were raging, she gave everyone food, blankets, clean clothes and kindness. The soldiers called her 'Mother Seacole'. After the war (1854-1856), she lived in Britain and died in London in 1881.