Angie Matthews, one of our aftercare nurses, is here with us to talk about her experience with Secret Surgery – the ins and the outs of working at this side of the fence. If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like to actually work in the cosmetic surgery industry – here’s an inside look at one of our most important ladies!
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? As an NHS nurse one of the biggest challenges I face is the financial constraints of the job, and the time restrictions I have as a consequence. To carry out a job to the best of your ability, but with very limited equipment, poor staffing levels and an increasing demand on a nurses time, is very difficult. Nursing has changed dramatically over the years, and sadly finances has had an overwhelming bearing on the choices that are made and the care that we can give .
Nursing is a vocation, it’s about caring for the sick, holding the hand of the dying patient, not about the endless mountains of paperwork thrust upon us. There is nothing worse than wanting to sit and listen to a patient, and giving them quality care, but being forced to sit behind a desk doing paperwork. This is one of the reasons I jumped at the chance of working with secret surgery. The emphasis is purely about total patient satisfaction. As a wound care nurse for post operative patients, I can spend an appropriate amount of time listening, supporting and advising as well as carrying out the clinical duties of wound care. Secret surgery patients are given one to one care when they are followed up, I feel that my entire attention can be given to that one patient I am caring for. Its a complete contrast to the demands I face as an NHS nurse.
What is the best part of your job? The best part of my job is the people I meet. The diverse ranges of personalities, and life experiences that make each person a unique individual. Working with secret surgery and meeting people in particular, who have experienced major weight loss, is one of my favourite groups of people. That’s because I can empathise with them. I am a person who too has experienced major weight loss and corrective plastic surgery. I know exactly how it feels to suddenly be in a new unrecognisable body.
To not know how to dress yourself, or how to “wear” the new you. That’s why I love secret surgery, who encompass all aspects of weight loss and change, and provide support not only physically but mentally too. I don’t know of any other company, who would help you get that new trim body, advise you on diet and exercise AND employ a fashion expert to teach you how to dress the new you. The honesty of SS is uplifting.
What’s your favourite procedure to see performed? My favourite procedures to perform vary in the settings I am in. I love old fashioned “clinical” nursing. Procedures such as staple & stitch removal, dressing changes, drainage tube removal and catheter insertions. I would say the most rewarding procedure however in the clinical setting is what we nurses refer to as TLC .
Tender loving care, whether it be holding the hand of a patient just diagnosed with cancer, or supporting the family of someone ill in hospital. Sadly in the NHS the time constraints placed upon most nurses, means paperwork is often at the forefront of our day. As after-care nurse for secret surgery, I don’t have to worry about dividing my time as individual patients have individual care. The person whom you are attending to is your only focus at that time.
What do you think you might have wanted to do other than nursing? I am often asked, if you hadn’t become a nurse then what would i have been? For me the only answer there is a teacher. A huge part of my job involves teaching, whether it be patient education or mentoring student nurses and health care assistants. I love this aspect of the job, I find it rewarding. Health promotion with patients can be difficult. Losing weight allowed me to put myself in the shoes of the obese and be more empathetic. There is nothing worse than someone telling you what to do, than someone who doesn’t know how it feels to be you.
What kind of surgery would you go for yourself? There are so many things about my body that i could change, but then i might end up not being me. I could see how easy it could be to become “addicted” to surgery, so i am glad to see that secret surgery will not indulge someone like this.
After meeting one of the renowned surgeons Dr W, I was very pleased to find out that he wont just automatically agree to change a persons features. They will need to prove why they it done, and also have very real expectations of what they expect the outcome to be. Seeing the outcome first hand of consultations, put me at ease. I think if I ever were in the position to want affordable surgery abroad, then i think i would opt to have a breast uplift. Drastic weight loss has left me with nothing more than empty droopy milk bottles!!
How do you like to relax after a long day? Relaxing after a long day nursing can be difficult. It is not a job that allows you to clock off at 5PM and forget it till tomorrow. You have peoples lives in your hands literally, and so emotionally it can be very challenging as well as the physical demands on a person. It is important to me to spend as much quality time with my husband as possible. He too is in a highly stressed and challenging profession, and so we both are in the privileged position of understanding what that is like. We like to socialise with friends, eat out, or simply chat over a cuppa. I like to keep up to date with technology and have my own support group for other people who have had weight loss surgery. Sharing experiences of what can be an emotional roller coaster is invaluable and something I very much enjoy.