Career talk: Pat Wash

What is your current job?

I’m a locum OH adviser with Cheviot Recruitment working at several interesting sites.

What are the duties in your present role?

It has varied from dealing with the NHS to the police, commerce, the food industry and laboratories.

What do you hope to achieve in your role?

Continuous development of OH knowledge.

Where were you working before and what were your duties?

I was principal OH nursing advisor at North West London Hospitals Trust for 20 years.

What qualifications do you hold?

RGN, OHNC, Cert Tropical Medicine for Nurses (distinction).

What are the challenges occupational health professionals face in the next 10 years?

Being widely accepted in the public health arena.

What has helped you most in your career?

A wonderful team spirit with colleagues in the NHS.

What is the best career advice you have ever been given?

Have perseverance, cheerfulness and a sense of humour.

What is the most essential tool in your job?

Well-written policies to ensure the service is efficiently delivered at all times.

What advice would you give to people thinking of starting out or changing jobs in OH?

Go for it – OH in the workforce is exciting, varied, scientific and academic.

What is the best thing about OH?

Sheer variety of work and interacting with other professions.

And the worst?

Spreading oneself too thinly when there is so much to undertake and achieve.

What is the strangest situation you have been in at work?

When a sub-contractor window cleaner emerged from his basket into the OH department on the 10th floor, suffering a panic attack due to heights.

What is your essential TV viewing?

Channel 4.

What is your most popular web page?

N/A – I’m still terrified of my computer, it might bite me.

What was the last book you read?

I rarely make time to read popular fiction.

Who would play you in the film of your life and why?

Judi Dench – a great actress of my generation with a similar shape and appearance (vaguely).

Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?

Tony Blair – we would discuss the NHS.

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