Inspired Options are actively seeking UK Nurses with existing Australian Nursing Board registration

Matron Trauma & Orthopaedics

Wednesday, 06 December 2023

7 Day Health Service
A great ideal
Can the Government make it work?

Debra Larsen RGN, ONC, DHSM, BSc (Hons), ENB N53 (pain management) HEAB 370


Debbie has been nursing since 1983 and has held a variety of roles in secondary care. Her current role is as the Matron of orthopaedic elective, trauma and rheumatology in-patients. Debbie is also the directorate lead for safeguarding, patient and public involvement and patient safety.


RGN, ONC, DHSM, BSc (Hons), ENB N53, HEAB 370 and has completed the first year of MSc in advancing clinical practice and is now working on year two.


Staff nurse, Ward Sister and Matron roles within a variety of trauma and orthopaedic settings to include paediatric orthopaedics and 3 years as a pain specialist nurse.

My Career

I have always wanted to be a nurse from as early as I can remember. I joined the St. Johns ambulance as soon as I was old enough and did voluntary work at a nursing home for the learning disabled. Straight after leaving school I started my orthopaedic and trauma training and went on to do my RGN training.

I am lucky to have had the opportunity to work in a number of different hospitals whilst I progressed to reach my current role as Matron. This has allowed me to see how the culture of the workplace can affect the morale of the staff and consequently the quality of the work performed there – both positively and negatively.

I spent 3 years as a pain nurse specialist a role which I enjoyed hugely. Being a pain specialist nurse was a huge learning curve and working autonomously was a worthwhile experience. It was a very rewarding job both in terms of managing patients pain and in being able help other teams. After three years I found I missed working as part of a ward team and so returned to ward settings. I believe it is a privilege to be in a position to lead a team and this is an aspect of my current role in which I find I am always meeting new challenges and learning.

I have a great enthusiasm for continued learning and development and have taken a number of courses. The one which I found to be the most valuable was the Diploma in Health Services Management. It taught be about the wider perspective of healthcare and gave me an understanding of the language used by healthcare managers. I learnt how to write management reports, business cases and option appraisals which are skills that have proved to be invaluable.

I have published work in the fields of leadership, pain management, orthopaedic nursing and patient safety. It was my tutor from the diploma in health service management who encouraged me to do so. I would urge all nurses who have an innovation or practice experience to publish and share. It’s a fascinating and rewarding opportunity.

What would I have done differently?

Probably not gone into nursing at such a young age. I was 16 when I commenced training and wonder if I missed out on being young without responsibilities. I also experienced things I was probably not mature enough to handle as well as I might have done later.

What advice would you offer?

  • Listen to your patients we have so much to learn from them.
  • Think outside of the box.
  • Look after yourself (something I think we often forget to do).

Who offered you the best career advice... and did you take it?

The tutor I had during my Diploma in Health Services management who told me to start believing in myself…I do!

What have you liked least about your working life?

All of those things that get in the way of being able to spend time with patients.

What have you enjoyed most?

The continual need to learn, the challenges that nursing throws at you, plus working with some fantastic people.

Favourite websites

Because it’s informative and is a forum to raise any issue about pain management – you can receive lots of help, advice and opinions.
Institute for Innovation and Improvement
Is a goldmine for inspiration, guidelines and innovations
Institute for Healthcare Improvement
A wealth of international information on current healthcare and future challenges.

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