Celebrating our ‘compassionate and caring’ nurses on International Nursing Day
PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 May 2019 | UPDATED: 08:59 12 May 2019
Nurses do a demanding and vital job - and International Nurses Day’, celebrated today, is a chance to say thank you.
International Nurses' Day is celebrated worldwide every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. Nurses around the region have been marking the occasion.
Royal College of Nursing members are uniting to mark the special occasion as their workplaces take part in the UK's Biggest Nursing Party.
East Suffolk and North Essex Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) has made a moving video, where nurses, healthcare assistants and other staff members from Ipswich, Colchester, Felixstowe and Clacton Hospitals talk about the range of qualities they feel a nurse should have.
Their suggestions range from being "compassionate and caring" to being a "good listener", "treating patients like family" and treating people with "respect and dignity." Staff members have also tweeted about their celebrations, some of which were held in advance of the day itself.
'If nursing is embedded in you, it's in the heart'
Two nurses with West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust have been speaking about what nursing means to them. Polly Leggett, a student nurse, said: "I've worked at the West Suffolk Hospital for five years, and have nearly finished my nurse training. I started as a nursing assistant and decided I wanted to progress in the nursing profession and develop the next stage of my career.
"Nurses really lead a patient's care, in partnership with the multidisciplinary team and the patients themselves, and I wanted to be able to do more.
"I think if nursing is embedded in you, it's in the heart and a very natural thing to do. It's the human interaction that is one of my favourite things about nursing. I'm so proud that I've nearly completed my training and that shortly I will become a qualified nurse. Making that decision to be a nurse was a really positive step because it really is the best job ever."
Tom Acker, paediatric nurse, said: "I've been at the West Suffolk for six years and have been a qualified nurse for eight months. I worked on A&E reception for five years, before and during my training.
"I realised I wanted to be a nurse because I could see my colleagues and all that they did for their patients and how they improved people's lives. That inspired me to take the jump from reception to being a nurse.
"I love the way we can see how we make a difference to people's lives. The good thing about being a children's nurse is that children generally bounce back. We can fix them quite quickly. You might see patients come in who are quite poorly but we get to help them and aim to make them healthy again.
"My proudest moment was getting my degree and my graduation, and realising that my hard work had all paid off and I could start my career as a nurse."
Tributes to a nurse who 'just loved helping people'
The special place that nurses hold in people's hearts was underlined by the outpouring of tributes following the death of devoted Ipswich Hospital nurse Sara Finlay, who tragically died as the result of a brain tumour.
Sara, who died on April 7, had dedicated her life to helping others, first at Ipswich's Nuffield Hospital and then at Ipswich Hospital's eye clinic for the past four or five years. Following her death, her family warned others to get checked over by a doctor if they had worries over aches and pains.
Her daughter, Louisa Wilkinson, said: "Every patient she put 100% effort into. She just absolutely loved it. She just gave everything to others and didn't expect anything in return."
Paying tribute to her on Facebook, Caroline de Max said: "Sara was indeed a beautiful human being who certainly did help many, not only with her nursing, with gentle kindness."
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