A Day in the Life of Professor Alf Nicholson

*Consultant Paediatrician, CHI at Temple Street, RCSI Professor of Paediatrics, RCPI Co-Dean for BST in Paediatrics & National Clinical Lead for Paediatrics

(*Piece compiled in May 2019 and Professor Nicholson retired in Sept 2019)

I usually get up at 6am but that may be slightly later on the cold dark mornings. Unless there is a deluge of rain or snow I cycle from Ranelagh to Temple Street which usually takes about 20 minutes.

When I get to work, I check my emails and reply quickly to as many as possible.

No day is the same in my working life and this is a great joy to me. In addition to my role as Consultant Paediatrician in Temple Street, I have meetings in RCPI and RCSI regarding academic matters and meetings regarding my national lead role.

I really enjoy the variety of my work, my colleagues both in RCSI and in Temple Street and the general ambience at work.

I find it challenging that change implementation is slow and roadblocks for surmounting are always there. Overall however I find the role very interesting and I accept the challenges and get on with it.

My proudest achievement is establishing very strong undergraduate and postgraduate training in Paediatrics and seeing bright trainees graduate becoming consultants. I also co-authored the National Model of Care and eagerly await its implementation.

I find cycling very relaxing despite the buses and I never ever bring work home with me. Having a great life partner and four world citizens as children helps a hell of a lot.

I am motivated by always striving to do my best and not just for the high profile and interesting cases but for the more banal cases at OPD and in-patient level.

To relax I enjoy walking our dog in in Powerscourt and around Ranelagh and I play a little golf. I find Father Ted and my children to be very funny.

The ‘treasure’ that I value most in Temple Street is that staff at all levels and how they care for each other and treat each other with kindness, generosity and respect.

This is the culture that enables success and is very obvious the moment you walk into Temple Street every day. This I hope and believe will be the culture in the new children’s hospital. Senior leadership must support and foster this culture.