Two nurse managers are proof that opportunity is available to all at Bradford Teaching Hospitals.
Mel Stack and Julie Brook began their careers as a ward domestic and healthcare assistant respectively, but have now risen to senior positions on some of our busiest wards.
Mel is now acting ward manager on ward 4 – the same ward she worked on as a part-time domestic while she was a 16-year-old student back in 1992 – and Julie acting matron for urgent care. Both began their careers at Bradford in the early 1990s.
After finding employment as a domestic on BRI’s ward 4 while doing her GCSEs, Mel went on to work as a part-time healthcare assistant at the hospital while attending college.
She later left to have a family, before returning to work part-time as a HCA on ward C2 at St Luke’s, ward 1 at BRI and, in 2001, AMU.
She was then encouraged by her matron at the time, Karen Johnson, to complete her nurse training, and was seconded to study for a nursing degree at the Open University in 2008.
All her hard work paid off when mum-of-two Mel qualified as a nurse in 2012. In 2017, she moved on again after being appointed a sister, before stepping up to her current acting ward manager role on ward 4 – our Medical Admissions Ward – this autumn.
She said: “I used to come round with a trolley giving patients cups of tea on an evening on ward 4 and now I am back in charge of the same ward!
“When I was 16, Dr Moreea (Consultant Gastroenterologist) had just begun as a senior house officer, so he remembers me! When I qualified he was over the moon!”
Dr Moreea said: “Mel’s career progression has been nothing less than totally deserved and worthy of praise. It also reflects how this Trust values the people who work here who are prepared to put in the work to progress their careers.
“I’ve known Mel for a very long time, from being a House Officer, and she hasn’t changed at all – she always has a smile and is always very pleasant to all. I’m very pleased to see her in her current position. Very well done Mel!”
Mel loves the diversity of her new job.
“Every day is different here and I love it. I would like to be the permanent ward manager and be as good as I can be. I knew I would be a nurse one day, but I didn’t think I would be a ward manager!”
Mum-of-one Julie started as a healthcare assistant on ward 4 in December 1998 aged 20. She then left to study nursing at the University of Huddersfield before joining ward C2 – a male medical ward at St Luke’s – as a staff nurse in 2003.