Take everyone opportunity, never give up on your dreams.
Alumna Anne Dobbs, 1997, has always had a passion for medicine and has continued to develop her learning throughout her career. We are delighted that she has shared her professional journey with us.
Can you tell me about your experiences since leaving QEGS – about how you reached current role?
I left QEGS after GCSEs and initially went to college, although I was quite adamant that I wanted to follow a nursing career, which at that time didn’t require A-Levels (it does now!), I left early to commence nurse training.
I trained at City University in London and at St Bartholomew's School of Nursing, after 3 years I returned to Lincolnshire and commenced working in Lincoln Hospital Emergency Department. I have had a varied role in Emergency Department’s of Lincolnshire working as a Staff Nurse, Clinical Educator, Sister, Emergency Nurse Practitioner, Advanced Clinical Practitioner and currently I’m Nurse Consultant for Emergency Medicine for Lincolnshire.
My current role is quite exciting and varied as I have a clinical role where I see my own patients, decide if they need investigations, treat them and discharge from the Emergency Department. I also have responsibilities of managing a team of Advanced Clinical Practitioners who work across Lincolnshire, I lead locally on service development projects and research projects and I teach both within the Emergency Department and also at some of the local universities.
Educationally I went on to complete my Degree in Nursing, MSc in Advanced Practice and am also a qualified teacher and a trauma specialist.
Did you always want to work in nursing?
Yes. I always wanted to work in nursing but don’t think I had a full appreciation of the variety of the nursing career. I only ever wanted to work in the Emergency Department. But there is a real diversity within the nursing career paths.
What is your fondest memory from time at QEGS?
I liked the trips overseas they introduced me to different cultures and languages that I have a real appreciation for.
I also really liked anything to do with music, being in school productions like Joseph and his Technicolour Dreamcoat, (which I still know all the words to) or Midsummer Night’s Dream, the music lessons and school orchestra. Occasionally I still play with a local orchestra so it must have inspired me!
What subjects or activities helped prepare you for your current role?
I hate to say this but maths. As part of my advanced training I had to complete a course about pharmacology and prescribing medications, whereby in the maths test you have to get 100% to pass, and there was some realisation at that time that maths was absolutely crucial to my role if I were to give the wrong amount of a medication the patient could get really sick or die. So there is lots of pressure on my maths skills on a daily basis.
Has growing up in Lincolnshire influenced your work?
Definitely. When I first qualified I used my annual leave time to travel and volunteer in different places like Uganda, Rwanda, Zambia. Working in places that have very little resources makes me appreciate our NHS, free at the point of need, so much. I think it is quite special to be able to work in the community where I grew up. Hospitals are very challenging places to work, but to be able to influence nursing practice, to make it better for my local community is why I like to carry on working in Lincolnshire.
What has been your biggest achievement?
Completing my Masters Degree, becoming a Consultant Nurse and being one of the first nurses to work on what was conventionally a doctors rota have all been great achievements as well as trying to inspire the next generation.
What advice would you give to a current student at QEGS, who might want to follow in your footsteps?
I think there is a lot of pressure on young people to make the right choices while at school. I was never particularly academic, that seems to have changed over time. In my work I have learnt that life is far too short, take every opportunity that crosses your path, follow those that give you passion and never give up on your dreams.