1. What made you want to be a nurse?
Growing up, I saw a lot of my family members get sick. Healthcare in Zimbabwe
was only available if you could afford to pay for it, so people had to cope with
serious illnesses without much help. My experience of this environment made
me want to care for people.
2. How did you decide on your specialism?
My mother had gestational diabetes, so this was a natural area of interest for
me. Her diabetes did not persist after pregnancy, but she later developed maturity
onset diabetes, which is currently diet-controlled. She had to make lifestyle changes
and alter her diet significantly in order to manage the condition.
Diabetes is such an interesting area to be working in right now. The cause and
treatment of diabetes combines genetics, lifestyle factors and cultural values. In
many countries, it is still the case that being overweight is associated with a high
social status – it says “I can eat rich food because I am rich” – so the healthy living
message hasn’t really started to get through.
3. What is an average day like for you?
I always start the day doing a round of the wards: visiting the patients, reviewing their
charts, identifying any problems that need attention and making recommendations for
altering their medication.
Another key part of my job is delivering training and education for other nurses.
Currently, around 40% of our patients have diabetes, so we need to ensure everyone
possesses the relevant knowledge about the condition and how to manage it. I’m not
available on every ward, 24/7; so equipping nurses with basic skills, such as how to give
patients insulin and how to check their blood glucose levels, is really important.
I have also been doing some work outside of my specialism, looking at the basic
structure of care in the hospital. So for example, reviewing the policies and procedures
for when a patient comes in with high blood glucose level and what to do when a
patient experiences hypoglycaemia (low blood glucose level). Getting these things
right is essential for maintaining high-quality, consistent patient care.
4. What’s the best thing about being a nurse?
For me, it’s being able to help transform the life of a patient. I start every day thinking
“Whose life can I make better today?”
People often come to us with undiagnosed diabetes; by identifying the condition
and starting a treatment regime, I can make an immediate difference to their lives.
Seeing the change in a patient – even if it is over a short time – is very satisfying.
5. What advice would you give to someone
looking to follow in your footsteps?
Nursing is an incredibly rewarding career, and nurses are at the frontline of delivering care.
We have the ability to make patients feel more comfortable, to help them when they’re in
pain and to make them smile. That’s an incredibly privileged position to be in.
Diabetic Nurse Specialist
London Bridge Hospital is committed to providing first-class clinical nursing care.
Dedicated, highly-trained staff at every level ensures that patients receive the best
possible treatment; making each patient’s stay as comfortable as possible.
We are proud to welcome Tembi Chinaire as our new Diabetic Nurse Specialist,
providing education and advice for staff and patients on diabetes, improving the
quality of the care at London Bridge Hospital.
10 Minutes With...
10 Minutes With...
6. What keeps you busy
outside of work?
I do a lot of work in my
community – particularly through
my church, looking at how we
can help people. That might mean
food banks or visits to vulnerable
people. There are a lot of people
who need help out there, and the
qualities that nurses have, such as
compassion and understanding,
can be so valuable.