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Sylvia Gordon

Sylvia Gordon Director

Be Inspired Series

Sinead Polland

Nurse Manager
Lucas Love Healthcare

What is your educational background?

I studied Nursing at The City Hospital Belfast and University of Ulster.  I was one of the first P2000 Nurses.

What was your very first job?

When training my love was always care of Dementia sufferers and I recognised the fantastic opportunities that were available in the Private Sector in Northern Ireland. The private sector is much underestimated in the diversity and autonomy it can offer a Nurse. My first job was as a staff nurse working with the elderly and my goal was very much to become a Home Manager I have mainly focused my career in the Private Sector.

What made you decide to pursue your present career?

Over my years as a Home Manager in Northern Ireland I have come to meet so many Health Care Professionals. I have also seen firsthand how difficult it is when the wrong person is in the wrong job; whether that is on a temporary or permanent basis.  That’s why I felt the management of a professional Healthcare Recruitment Agency was the perfect role for me.  I get to catch up with so many of my friends and colleagues, as well as meeting new people and helping them further their career.

How long have you been in your current position?

I started with Lucas Love Healthcare in February 2011 – (1 year, 8months).

Does your role offer ongoing training and development?


I am very lucky that my Managing director is willing to facilitate our training and development needs. This allows me to continue furthering my knowledge and practice. Most importantly the level of Importance he places on training means that we can offer all our temporary workers a free training program that exceeds the minimum standards.

What does a typical working day involve?

As you can imagine managing my internal team, the growing number of temporary nursing and support staff and ensuring client needs are met and exceeded; no day is ever dull! 

Firstly I catch up with my team, making sure everything went smoothly overnight with the 24 hour on call system. This is usually done with the first coffee of the day in hand! Then it’s time for business… I touch base with new and existing clients to ensure we are fully meeting their needs. I check in with our Finance Directors, as we work closely together to ensure the business is working effectively. I would always have a daily update with our Managing Director to ensure he is kept fully in the picture. When all the admin and management is over I carryout client visits; I love getting a feel for the Healthcare facilities in and around the province. Finally I am responsible for reviewing, assessing and placing nursing applicants in the right roles.

What are your main responsibilities?

I am the Registered Manager of both the Nursing Agency and the Domiciliary Care Agency. My responsibility there lies in ensuring that we fully comply with all that is required of us from a compliance point of view. I also manage the day to day running of our agency which supplies care staff and Support workers to sites all over the province. Although we are not required at present to have this sector registered with the RQIA, I ensure we keep to the same standards as our Nursing Agency. By doing this I can ensure that we maintain the best possible standard of care for the end user of our services.

I also manage the Healthcare Team here in Lucas Love Healthcare. We are a very close group and always happy to bounce new ideas or suggestions off each other.

What skills do you need?

Patience and dedication to the job are essential. As a Registered Manager of two disciplines I need to be constantly contactable in the event of an emergency.  You also need to have very good communication skills and the ability to develop strong relationship, as you meet so many new people in the course of the job.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job is the variety it offers me; I could never be bored! I really enjoy the fact that no 2 days are the same. I get to travel around the province meeting clients and candidates and work internally with a great team.

And the worst?

The awful frustration of knowing we could be providing lucrative temporary work to so many more qualified Nurses; this is why we are currently running a campaign called 30 Nurse in 30 Days – aimed at recruiting nurses from across Northern Ireland and further afield we are working to fill 30 nursing vacancies in 30 days!

What personal qualities does your job require?

A warm and friendly demeanor and a genuine love of Nursing.

What advice would you give to someone wishing to pursue a similar career?

Explore the possibilities that the Private Sector has to offer the Nurse and do not discount this as a very sensible and exciting career choice.

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