Name: Mirelle Harris
Job title: CNS Clinical Nurse Specialist Contraception & Sexual Health
Organisation: East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust, Eastbourne
What is your current role?
- To provide complex contraceptive and sexual health care and advice within a clinic setting. Both booked clinics and ‘walk in and wait’ provision.
- Weekly LARC clinics providing both booked and opportunistic IUD and Implant fittings.
- LARC training.
What prompted you to do this role?
To provide sound, empirical contraceptive and sexual health advice within a non judgmental setting. To empower women to make decisions regarding their bodies and fertility. To help young people understand consent and ensure their sexual experiences are not learnt from pornographic material. To support young people with their sexuality.
What was your route to this role?
- Previously working in media, both television and radio.
- Working as a complementary therapist with Sure Start and in Holloway on the ‘Mother & baby unit’.
- I independently write and present podcasts in my specialist area.
What education/courses/modules have you undertaken to equip you for the role?
CASH, Mentorship, Non-medical prescribing, LOc training in Implants & IUDs, Course of 5, SRH essentials, safeguarding, mandatory training, Gynaecology oncology module.
How do you see yourself developing your skills?
I love the clinical time, working with patients alongside a good team on the clinic floor. I do not want to move away from clinics, but I would love to combine this with an operational role.
What is your long-term career plan?
I love my role in my current clinic.
What advice would you give someone thinking about moving to work in sexual health?
It is a changing role and the future is uncertain, financially, but the role itself is as important as it has ever been with a lot of potential for progression. There is a lack of consistent sex and relationship education in schools, with a lot of access to the wrong type of education on the internet. We are in a privileged position to guide and support people at different stages of their life and sexual health.
What do you most enjoy about this area of care?