A tribute to nurses everywhere: Celebrating International Nurses Day 12th may 2016

I am so proud to be a nurse.  Whilst I am privileged to work with a great team of researchers, practice developers and innovators running an interdisciplinary national centre for practice development and innovation,  I wanted to take the opportunity to post a brief blog celebrating my colleagues and peers.  Here are two stories by wonderful nurse leaders Paul Jebb and Joan La Pons, both International Fellows of the England Centre for Practice Development.  To read more about them, their work and their passion for practice visit http://www.canterbury.ac.uk/ecpd and read their profiles under the International Fellows section of our website.  There will be many more in the coming weeks.

Paul Jebb Experience of Care Professional Lead
Patient Experience Team,  NHS England, @Pauljebb1

” As I am just about to clock up 20 years as a registered nurse, it is always good to reflect on what being a registered nurse really means to me.

Nurturing others to develop and give them the skills and confidence to meet the changing health care needs of those they come into contact with
Use skills & knowledge to make a difference to those I have come into contact with
Respect each other for what we are and championed diversity and inclusivity
Support, mentor, coach and inspire others
Enhance care for people, their families and carers

There are many words that we could use to describe what we do as Registered Nurses, as well as working alongside health care support workers and other members of the multi-disciplinary team, but more importantly than words are the values we live and the actions we do that make a difference to the lives of those who need to receive nursing care. Our actions will reflect our values, the skills and knowledge we have and the professionalism of the nurse and other health care professionals.
Registered nurses make a difference to individual people but also have an impact on the outcomes of health, we as a profession need to understand and value our roles, have pride in our education and intellect and the skills that make a difference to those in receipt of nursing care. Health care is challenging but registered nurses have the skills, knowledge and expertise to continue to make a difference.”

Joan Pons LaPlana Telehealth Flo Clinical Lead at Arden & GEM CSU,  @thebestjoan

Kindness can be as powerful as 1000 aspirins


“To be honest I became a nurse “by mistake”. When I was growing up I never thought that I will ended up being a Nurse. It was more that Nursing chose me. After gaining my Nursing Diploma, I undertook a degree in Management of the Critical Care Patient and then worked in various very busy A&E’s around Barcelona. Work was intermittent, so I decided to pursue my career in England. I landed in Sheffield on Bonfire night in 2000 and I was quite impressed by the reception and all the fireworks illuminating the sky!

Initially I worked in the intensive therapy unit (ITU), where the ventilators, pumps and gadgets played to my interests. However, my primary focus was performing tasks and technology; I became very ‘Competent’ but Care, Compassion, Communication, Courage and Commitment were not my priority.

All that changed one weekend when I was allocated to take care of a young lad who had been in a car accident. He was being nursed in a cubicle; his body was battered red, with multiple fractures. He was ventilated and had various drains and pumps in situ. At the time, he was the ideal patient for me as my nurse vision was primarily performing tasks. But towards the end of the shift he asked me what was outside the little window at the end of the cubicle. The following day he again asked me what I could see from the window, and if I could move his bed close to it. Initially I thought he was joking, but he was dead serious. I told him it would be physically impossible.

That night I went home and I couldn’t stop thinking about his request. The next day I asked to nurse him again, and I asked him if he wanted to see the view. I still remember his face; it lit up with a big smile from ear to ear. It took me nearly two hours to manoeuvre all the equipment safely around the room, but I was determined! We finally made it, and like a miracle, a ray of sunshine came through the window and illuminated his face. He asked me to sit on his bed next to him, and for the next half an hour we were sat in silence holding hands. It was a powerful moment and we both ended up with tears rolling down our cheeks.

For the first time I understood what Care and Compassion meant. On that day I fell in love with nursing; my job became my passion. I still remember that immense feeling inside me that on that day – I made a difference to somebody. For the first time I was proud of being a nurse. Also to everyone’s astonishment patients started to recover very quickly and left our unit a week after. From the experience I learned to never underestimate the power of Compassion. Often Kindness can be as powerful as 1000 aspirins.

Since then patient centred care has been my passion. I firmly believe that by putting power into the hands of the patient, the NHS will be able to improve the care it provides and save money while doing so. Often, the patients know the solutions because they know the problems.

We live in a time that our NHS is under great pressure and demand is soaring. Only if we truly turn our health system upside down by empowering patients and frontline staff, the NHS will be able to survive and deliver the gold standard care that everyone of us dreams of.

To be able to make a difference to someone is priceless. It’s like a euphoria feeling that lifts your spirit and gives you tremendous amounts of energy and happiness.

When I was younger growing up in Barcelona I never imagined I would ended up being a Nurse but I do believe it was meant to happen. Often I think I am the luckiest person in the world.

Not everyone can say that they make people’s lives better for a living. I go to work with a smile every morning, which is priceless for me.”



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