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Careers Champion case study

Karen Basham

Senior Operating Department Practitioner, Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital

Tell us a bit about your role and how long you’ve worked for the NHS?

I have been working in the NHS for just over 30 years as an Operating Department Practitioner. My main responsibilities in this role are ensuring quality and safety to all of our patients. This involved being a vital part of the operating theatre team, providing a high standard of care to patients of all ages, at every stage of their operation journey.

Since I qualified as an ODP in 1990, I have cared passionately about the quality of care which patients receive and making sure that their experience of healthcare is that of which I would want for myself and for my family.

I began my career as an trainee ODP at the James Paget hospital in Gorleston and after I qualified I decided to venture further afield to London hospitals and Canterbury for time away from Norfolk and learn new skills and broaden my horizons. I returned to Norfolk in the early 90s and began working at The Norfolk and Norwich NHS Trust Hospital. This gave me the opportunity to experience healthcare in a very different environment with a wide range of major specialities. Primarily, my interests for this new challenge focused on Paediatrics and Thoracic services.

During my time at the NNUH I have enjoyed many opportunities and challenges.

Karen Basham

Careers Champions – Helping You To Map Out Your Future Career Pathway

What excites you about being a Careers Champion?

The careers champion role interests me as it seems to fit in nicely with my wealth of knowledge and experience, I can offer to assist others with their career choices. I believe it is vital that there is a support mechanism in place for our future talent who are given opportunities to carve out successful pathways for themselves even when there maybe setbacks along their journey.

Without doubt working at the NNUH is a very busy hospital, and at times one can easily feel out of their comfort zone and isolated. Finding time to support staff is always a challenge. However now is the time for a careers champion going forward. They can provide unique and valuable insight into working life in their specialty and are readily available to address careers information and advice. They can provide real-life context about their working life, specialty-specific information and recruitment experience. The conversations are intended to be informal, and the Careers Champions will draw on their own career experience to provide information and advice.

Over the years I have worked with some fabulous people and am constantly amazed by the care which everyone delivers. I can honestly say that each day I feel hugely privileged and proud to be part of the NHS as a Senior ODP. In terms of the future of a careers champion this role is vital to the journey of staff being successful allowing them to follow their dreams and aspirations.