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'As a role model, I need to impact other people's lives'

DEDICATED: Mary Akangbe has spent much of her time helping others throughout her career

AS A REGISTERED nurse and specialist practitioner in keyhole surgery at King’s College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, Mary Akangbe’s day job involves working long hours and being on the frontline of the NHS.

Despite a demanding work schedule, she has still found the time to write her autobiography and create Glowing Future, a charity for survivors of domestic abuse.

Determined to see the extraordinary work of healthcare staff celebrated, she’s also set up Zenith Global Health, an organisation that awards healthcare professionals for their work in the sector.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
Mostly inner strength and knowing that I cannot afford to give up, because as a role model I need to be able to impact other people’s lives. And, of course, my two boys.

What challenges have you faced in your career journey?
When I was doing my postgraduate qualification, at the end of the first year the department decided that I couldn’t carry on with the second year and I had to sum up the courage and use my annual leave and days off to finish the second year so that I could qualify as a specialist practitioner.

That gave me the courage and the strength from early on to step out of the box.

What do you do to relax?
I watch rom-com films over and over again. And I love music and I dance a lot. Everybody who knows me knows that as soon as the music starts, I’m the first on the dancefloor and the last to leave.

What advice would you give to young women following in your footsteps?
My advice is that they shouldn’t let anyone define who they are. They should know from early on where they want to go and map out how to get there through personal and professional development.

What has been the highlight of your career?
Apart from the fact that resilience and courage means I’m the only specialist practitioner in keyhole surgery in my trust, the other highlight is when I established Zenith Global Health. Also, my orientation and induction programme for nurses being embraced by the then director of nursing for use throughout the trust.

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