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What do you do, Cavette?

Cavette is a head of nursing and shares her thoughts during Black History Month
Colourful question marks drawn by a child

Cavette Castillo works at Evelina LondonWhat is your current role?

For the last six years, I have been the matron for ambulatory care which means care that can be given in one day without needing to stay overnight. My role covers overseeing the day care unit, Snow Fox, and Ocean outpatients department, as well as coordinating different teams of clinical nurse specialists. Specialist nurses have an important role in our hospital as they look after children with complex conditions such as PIMS-TS (a rare condition thought to be triggered by COVID-19), Crohn’s disease, sickle cell or juvenile arthritis.

I have recently have been appointed as head of nursing for surgery and theatres. In this role, I will have overall nursing leadership responsibilities for children who require a surgical procedure, planned or emergency, and children who are inpatients (which means they are staying in hospital).

A key aspect of my role is being inspirational for others. I grew up in Jamaica and America, and as a child, I was expected to achieve. Growing up in these countries, it was very multicultural and you were honoured for your achievements. I didn’t see any barriers to having a career. I previously believed that access to education and progression was more to do with wealth or connections, rather than skin colour.

I moved to the UK and went to university to study nursing. I didn’t realise how important it was for the younger generation to see someone like them in positions of power until my children and friends pointed out how they experienced differences and inequalities. I didn’t realise the impact that my new role could have on others, especially the younger generation.

I never saw myself as a role model but have been forced to reflect on the impact of such a leadership role. As such, I would like my new role as head of nursing to be aspirational to others, especially young people, so they can achieve more than I have.

What is your favourite part of working for Evelina London?

The “can do” attitude and that we’re autonomous to make change. I feel that I have been given the space to develop myself as an individual and my teams, and services. I develop my team to focus on their skills, not the colour of their skin. I feel so proud of them and all they can achieve. In ambulatory care, our clinical offer is what I am most proud of, as we offer care designed around the patients without too much disruption to daily life.

I am also so proud of my matron team, we challenge each other and hold each other to account, which makes us better. We have developed together and I will be sad to move on from them.

What is your passion?

My passion is developing people into the best versions of themselves. I like watching my people and teams grow. I spot a little bit of talent or potential, and I’m there. It’s my favourite part of the job. Everyone plays a vital role in my team, no matter their role, and I try to instil this culture to the people I work with. I was off sick from work last year with COVID-19, and the whole time I didn’t worry about my work, as I knew my team could take care of it without me.

What is your proudest moment?

I have many proud moments of working at Evelina London. I was proud when Snow Fox opened. As a mum and as a nurse, I was proud of my daughter when she became a band 7 nurse. I’m proud of what I have achieved in my role, and that I’m now taking the next step in my career. I feel proud when I see patients who are discharged and are doing well, knowing we enabled that to happen. I’m proud that Snow Fox has a waiting list for nurses to join, and we have no vacancies. When staff move on, they’re leaving for more senior roles, which shows staff like working in our team.

What does being part of Evelina London mean?

Being part of a dynamic team of healthcare professionals that provides quality care for patients nationally, as well as our local community. Being part of an incredible hospital that I would be happy to care for my family, knowing they would get the best care.

 

Colourful question marks drawn by a child

Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our blog pages.

What do you do?

We love highlighting our staff and their amazing career journeys.

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