hudsonWho are you? What do you do?

I am a Care Maker (Chief Nursing Officer’s Ambassador of the 6Cs) and a 3rd year student nurse (adult) at Teesside University.

What has been your most notable radical accomplishment or experience?

I like to challenge things in a positive way and believe it’s the small things that really make a difference. During one short placement I helped identify some key areas for change following an experience when caring for people with Dementia.  I am particularly proud of this achievement as I had to find the courage to not only to identify the change but to ensure that real positive change followed. I am passionate about protecting those who are vulnerable and making sure that they are treated with respect and dignity.

At university I developed and led our first patient safety conference #tupsc14. The idea was empowering students as change agents to be at the forefront of leading our culture of safe, compassionate care. We covered areas such as dementia, pressure ulcer prevention, keeping people with learning disabilities safe and medication errors. I was supported with an excellent team of other students who were also passionate about patient safety. The event was supported by NHSIQ and featured some first class speakers consisting of both service users and professionals, who were experts in their fields. It was huge success and I am particularly proud that current second year students have come together to plan #tupsc15.

When did you first realise that you are a health & care radical?

It’s all about people and relationships. I have always been a people person. When I first heard out about Care Makers I knew instantly it was for me. What’s not to love about a group of like-minded people, supporting each other, committed to changing health care and challenging the status quo? I read about the importance of resilience. I was particularly inspired by Helen Bevan’s talk that I had watched at university and her phrase ‘rocking the boat and staying in it’. I love my job and the people I work with so I want to work with them to improve our services and culture and not be seen as a troublemaker. I’m still working on the resilience part but I am getting better!

What advice do you wish someone had given you earlier in your career?

You know more that you think! Other life experiences bring so many benefits and added value. It enables you to see things in a different light. I worked in IT and sales for 18 years before becoming a student nurse. My advice to other student nurses embarking on their studies would be – you are a student nurse, not ‘just’ the student nurse. Be proud and be the change. You have the power!

What is your favourite radical characteristic?

The ability to make emotional connections and build relationships. We are all in this together.

What is your favourite question?


What one clue tells you you’re affecting positive change?

I would say the underlying culture is testament to positive change. It’s also great when a colleague or service user reinforces this and gives you some positive feedback. I love getting thank you cards. It makes me feel warm inside!

What do you think is most important for people to understand about radicals?

Radicals thrive on a base of positivity. We may get the odd knock will always rise to the challenge, pick ourselves up and carry on rocking that boat where needed!

What’s your one word piece of advice for radicals?


What’s your one word piece of advice for non-radicals?


Where do you think radicals are most needed today?

Everywhere. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

Who is your favourite radical from the past 100 years?

There are so many people who I admire such as Rosa Parks. Her courage and conviction regarding civil rights changed the world. Within healthcare Kate Grainger MBE is my favourite radical. The #hellomynameis campaign has not only taken the NHS by storm but is now supported by political leaders, football clubs and corporate organisations. Kate is true transformational leader of compassionate care.

What’s the one thing you should never say to a radical?

But we’ve always done it this way!

How do you rate yourself as a radical?

Work in progress! Always changing and learning.

Michelle Hudson – @catmichelle76