Susy Pramod, tissue viability specialist nurse

Susy Pramod works as a tissue viability nurse at The Christie, and has been at the Trust for over 20 years. For International Nurses Day (Sunday 12 May 2024), Susy explains how she got into nursing, what her role entails and how changes she's put in place have made a difference to patient care.

A photo of Susy Pramod, lead nurse in tissue viability at The Christie, wearing a red uniform.

I’ve always wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a child growing up in India. My sister, who is 18 years older than me, is also a nurse so you could say it runs in the family. She’s my idol and inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

I trained in Vellore in southern India and started my career as a psychiatric nurse in a local hospital there. Around 10 years later, I decided I wanted to come to the UK and work in our NHS. I ended up in Manchester and, having worked in mental health for a while, I decided I wanted a change. There was a 3-month position open as a wound care nurse, so I applied, thinking that if I didn’t like it then it was only temporary. Now, over 20 years later, I’m still working in the same area.

I joined The Christie in 2015 and am now the lead nurse in our tissue viability team. If I had to describe what I do in a few words, I’d say that I help patients with complex oncology-related wounds to have a better quality of life. This includes things like preventing and treating pressure ulceration and making sure that patients have the right dressing support. We also work closely with other staff across the Trust to help make sure they have the right knowledge and skills to make sure people get the care they need.

One thing I’m proud of is introducing a skin tone assessment into our wider pressure ulcer risk assessment. Wounds show up differently on different skin tones, so we have a skin tone tool to help us. It started as a pilot and is now part of our day-to-day practice and training. I’ve also supported other hospitals across the country in introducing something similar.

In addition to my day-to-day job as a nurse, I also recently completed a pre-doctoral fellowship with the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. These are designed to support people looking to start or advance their careers in health and social care research.

My work was all about establishing the best way to treat people with malignant fungating wounds. This is when a tumour that is growing under the skin breaks through the skin's surface and creates a wound. Not much research has been done in this area, so I’m proud to have contributed and to be able to help people living with these wounds.

My managers, and especially Janelle Yorke, our former chief nurse, have been supportive of me getting more involved in research. It also helps that the hospital has a long history of pioneering new and kinder treatments for cancer, and I’m proud to be part of that story.

Susy Pramod, tissue viability specialist nurse

On International Nurses Day last year, I got to go to Buckingham Palace for a party to celebrate the contribution that internationally educated nurses and midwives have made to our NHS. We got to meet The King and people from other hospitals from across the country. It was a brilliant experience, and one I won’t forget in a hurry.