Real-life story - Claire Garner

Claire worked in medical records for a number of years before her ideal role in IT training became available. She jumped at the chance and hasn't looked back! Read her story. 

Claire Garner
Claire Garner Digital training and development manager
Employer or university Nottinghamshire Health Informatics Service
Salary range £40k-£50k

How I got into the role

I worked for a number of years as an admissions manager in medical records but was always interested in working in a training role and I jumped at the chance when an IT trainer role was advertised. It was the start of my health informatics career and the best decision I could have made.  

I’ve progressed within IT training and am doing the role I always aspired to!  

What I do

I’m responsible for two of our health informatics services: training and products. The training team delivers clinical IT training and support to 5000 acute trust staff and more than 1000 staff working in GP practices and community settings, so there’s a lot to keep track of! 

I look after the health informatics apprentices too and have regular meetings with the apprentices and their managers. I support the apprentices to apply for jobs and prepare for interviews. I also process requests for work experience placements and work with managers to create work placement programmes. 

I start my day checking what meetings I have in the diary and that necessary actions have been completed. I can receive up to 100 emails a day so a large part of my day is spent dealing with them. I have two team leaders who report to me so I have calls or meetings with them to check on issues and get an update on the projects their teams are delivering.  

The best bits and challenges

I love supporting and developing staff and the best part is developing an individual from apprentice into a senior role. Many of our apprentices go on to gain a role within our service and I’ve created numerous career pathways since implementing the apprenticeship programme, enabling people to join on lower band roles and progress to more senior positions. 

The main challenges of my role relate to prioritisation. I have numerous different tasks on the go at once, for example holding an update meeting with a member of staff, preparing to deliver a presentation to hundreds of students, and running a coaching session with one of my team. While this is challenging, I love the variety of my role. 

Life outside work

I’ve always loved helping people and making a difference to people’s careers by developing and nurturing them to reach their potential.  

I spend a huge part of my time outside work coaching my daughter in her athletics. I regularly use my organisational, communication and negotiating skills when helping at events. It can be pretty stressful getting everyone to the right event at the right time.

Career plans and top tips for others

I am really happy with my current role and want to continue offer line management support and development of our apprenticeship and work experience programme.  

I am currently studying for a coaching and mentoring qualification and love the coaching and mentoring sessions. The ability to guide and influence people to make changes in their work and personal lives is by far the best part of the job. 

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