By: The Wellington Team | Published: June 7, 2012
‘A good leader is someone who inspires and motivates you, it is management to an extent, but it’s also management done but not noticed – you can get the best out of staff by nurturing and truly valuing them, by inspiring them you make them expand and flourish. How do you this? Make your staff think and come out with the answers. This is what I strive for.’
Elaine Carson is the Head Outpatient Services at The Wellington Hopsital’s Platinum Medical Centre. She is a woman of many talents with extraordinary motivation and energy.
TWHblog: You have worked for The Wellington Hospital for nearly 19 years now; how did it all begin?
I qualified and trained in general and psychiatric nursing in Scotland, nearly 30 years ago. I then went to Australia for three years, where I studied nursing – concentrating in orthopaedics and ENT. I moved back to Glasgow where I completed an orthopaedic course, followed by a management course, then moved to London and started to work for The Wellington Hospital, in the Orthopaedic Unit. Other opportunities soon came up and I became an Outpatient Manager (but still nursing). I only really picked up this kind of ‘general manager’ role in the last two years – which includes managing many different specialities.
TWHblog: Tell us about your role?
Head of the Outpatient Services covers the outpatients, endoscopy, and imaging departments. I make sure that everyone is happy, that our staff are trained well, the equipment is working, that bookings are correct and that every patient’s journey to the hospital is as smooth as possible. It’s a vast but really enjoyable role. Every single day, every hour situations that I have not dealt with before arise: it could be a finance query that I am not familiar with, or a technical query regarding a CT scanner – I find it all very interesting. In the last two years I have learned a great deal about the scanners. What’s really interesting is that having been a nurse, I viewed imaging in a certain way, but now that I manage this department I have a completely different perception of it.
TWHblog: Which services do you offer in your departments?
Our imaging department is one of the biggest in the UK, we offer MRI, CT, X-rays, Dexa-scanning, fluoroscopy, interventional radiology – which is a bit like a mini theatre, where we can do angioplasty and stenting; we offer nuclear medicine and have a PET/CT at the Platinum Medical Centre, in addition to the Cardiac Imaging and Research Centre at The Wellington South. At the Platinum Medical Centre we cover all different specialities across 50 consulting rooms, and our new GI Unit offers endoscopy, colonoscopy and bronchoscopy,etc. in stunning state-of-the-art facilities.
TWHblog: What do you enjoy the most about your role?
As a manager, you are responsible for the delivery of every patient’s care, but you also have the chance to make a difference. Although I don’t get as much personal interaction with the patients as when I was nursing, my new role now allows me to really make a difference to the best of my abilities, for patients and staff. I love working with the team I have; I always like to smile because I really think you might as well be happy at work. I am always saying to my team ‘you know, things will always happen, we can sort it out – so keep smiling girls’ and boys’!
TWHblog: How do you like to spend your time after a busy day at work?
When I am not managing people, I am managing my six year old boy! I love picking up my son from school, it’s a treat to me – he loves to chat away and we’ll sit and do his homework together. We sometimes go to Regents Park to play tennis or Frisbee; we swim together regularly and we often visit our family Scotland.
TWHBlog: Would you picture yourself doing anything else?
The one thing I was going to do – which is completely opposite from what I do now – was Art… I used to paint and I was very close to go to an Art School but for some reason, I ended up going to nursing. Curiously, I did some anatomical drawings for Consultant Orthopaedic Surgeon Mr Dowd’s book in the past. If I was a rich girl, I would just paint and draw. It distresses me completely.