What do you do, Lauren?

Lauren is the matron for the paediatric respiratory wards at Evelina London Children's Hospital and Royal Brompton Hospital

Colourful question marks drawn by a child ""

May 2024

What do you do?

I'm the matron for the paediatric respiratory wards at Royal Brompton Hospital and Evelina London Children's Hospital, as we treat children at both hospitals. I came to work at Royal Brompton Hospital as a newly qualified nurse from university and I've been a paediatric nurse for over 15 years, working with paediatric cardio-respiratory patients (children and young people who come to us for tests to diagnose problems with the heart or lungs).

I split my time across both hospitals, working and supporting all the great teams who provide care on Rose ward and the children's sleep unit at Royal Brompton Hospital and Snow Leopard ward (including the respiratory clinical nurse specialist teams) at Evelina London Children's Hospital.

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

Nursing chose me, I was a patient myself and spent time in a specialist children's hospital. Over the years I looked back at how important the nurses were and I realised that was the job I wanted to do.

What are you passionate about?

Providing the best care to the patients and supporting my staff in doing so. The patient's voice is so important in everything we do and it is vital we provide the tools and skills to enable staff to do this successfully. My passion and favourite part of my role is developing and progressing staff alongside career development. It is incredible seeing how the teams grow and flourish to build new relationships with others, enabling us to progress the care of our patients. There are so many opportunities in healthcare to nurture staff from all walks of life and it is so important that these are shared with all.

What are you working on at the moment?

I'm currently working alongside paediatric cardiology matron, Rhian Lakhani, on a project looking at how we collaborate and work most effectively across our hospitals. We have successfully run our first cross-site inpatient senior nurse team day, allowing ward sisters and educators to meet and spend time learning about each other, sharing experiences and knowledge to benefit our cross-site services.

What is your proudest moment?

From a clinical perspective this would be developing and leading on a nurse-led ward round for a specific patient cohort on Rose ward. This really allowed me to focus on the holistic care of the children and their families. These were children who would be staying in hospital for a minimum of 6 months, and I was able to provide the time and support to look at their other needs, like planning to go home and providing significant care at home. I was then able to take this experience and knowledge to present at an Association for European Paediatric and Congenital Cardiology (AEPC) conference.

What has surprised you about your career so far?

The versatility of children's nursing and the roles and opportunities that are found within. I have been fortunate to work on paediatric respiratory research for cystic fibrosis and interstitial lung disease, as well as developing my clinical care for cardiac and respiratory nursing. This resulted in my qualifying and working as a cardiac advanced nurse practitioner (a specialist nurse), allowing to me to meet a diverse range of people who are dedicated and committed to their roles and the patients they look after. 

What would you say to someone considering a career in nursing?

I would say that you should always take every opportunity to learn and develop. I never once thought as a student I would want to work in the realms of research but they have been fascinating jobs with a steep but incredibly rewarding learning curve.

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.

Read other pieces in this series:

  • What do you do, Patrick? Over his 40-year career, Patrick has taken on a variety of roles, from midwife to neonatal nurse. He shares why he has never regretted choosing a career in nursing.
  • What do you do, Emily? Emily explains how she supports and advocates for children and young people who need to stay in hospital for prolonged periods of time.
  • What do you do, Bren? As part of the 'pioneering team' in our children's day surgery unit, Bren shares what he loves about the unit, from the outer space artwork to the superb training opportunities.

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