12 May 2021

Nursing teams and the care they provide for patients at SaTH are being celebrated today to mark International Nurses’ Day (IND).

This year, as well as showcasing the nursing profession to encourage others to join, IND will recognise the contribution made by nurses in all roles, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

COVID-19 has meant that nursing teams have had to change the way they work to care for patients and their families at the Royal Shrewsbury Hospital (RSH) and Princess Royal Hospital (PRH) in Telford. Some also stepped out of non-clinical roles to return to frontline nursing.

Hayley Flavell, Director of Nursing, said: “I have been in nursing for nearly 30 years, and I have never been prouder to be a nurse.

“I would like to thank our nursing teams for the courage and resilience they have shown during COVID-19, and for the compassionate care they give to our patients, and their families, every day.

“COVID-19 has shone a light on the nursing profession and the vital contribution and positive impact that nurses make, and I hope that it will inspire others to join a very rewarding and valued profession.

“Thank you, too, to those who support our nursing teams to do their jobs every day.”

Kelly Pardy works as Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) Specialist Nurse.

                          Kelly Pardy

She said: “My decision to go into nursing was one I made at a young age. I had a great interest in science and I had decided that this was a career I wanted before I had left college.

“I started my nurse training in 2009, and once I qualified I initially worked in the private sector before coming to the NHS in 2017. I would recommend nursing as a career if you’re up for a challenge. It’s certainly not an easy job, but it is very rewarding.

“Nursing is a varied career with plenty of opportunity for you to find your niche and develop your skills in an area that you are interested in. This is how I came to work in the role of IPC specialist nurse.

“COVID-19 affected my role significantly, and our team had been preparing for it well before the first cases were identified in Shropshire. Although our standard work was still in place, we had the added pressure of a pandemic to manage in an acute hospital trust.

“This included ensuring that the Trust was adhering to frequently changing guidance, educating staff in all disciplines, and investigating and managing outbreaks amongst a wealth of other things.”

Melissa Compton is a Critical Care staff nurse working in ITU and HDU, and has worked at SaTH since completing her nursing degree and qualifying as a nurse eight years ago.

                 Melissa Compton

She said: “I had been a ski instructor, but I decided to pursue a career in nursing after I took up a position as a carer, and found that I really enjoyed the caring aspect of the role. I then became a Healthcare Assistant in a general hospital before taking a degree in nursing.

“Being a nurse is hard work and it involves long hours, but it is very rewarding to be able to help someone in their moment of need. I particularly enjoy working in high intensity care as it involves a lot of critical analysis and decision-making.

“My role did change during COVID-19; we worked long hours in PPE and we became the bridge between patients and their loved ones at home. It has been very challenging, particularly emotionally, but we all worked together as a team to care for our patients and their families.”

Jamie Henry is a Professional Development Nurse for the International Nursing Team helping to educate, train and support international nurses to take their competence exams, called the nursing OSCE (Objective Structured Clinical Examinations). She also returned to frontline nursing for several weeks to support colleagues during the pandemic.

                            Jamie Henry

She said: “I wanted to be a nurse for as long as I could remember. I graduated my Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing from the Philippines in 2006 and started working as a nurse in 2011. My background is Emergency Nursing and mainly Medical-Surgical Nursing.

“In 2015, I arrived in the UK as an overseas nurse and worked in the Acute Medical Unit for about 18 months. Thereafter, I worked in the ITU at the RSH for nearly three years.

“I took up nursing because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis. Nursing is challenging but I believe it is one of the noblest and one of the most rewarding professions.

“I would recommend it as a career to anyone who seeks a path that would challenge them every day and those who want to be involved in looking after others. I would also encourage anyone who has a thirst for learning and knowledge to look into nursing as it has endless learning opportunities.

“During the first lockdown, all the university test centres for OSCE closed indefinitely, and our team had to think outside the box as to how we could train our nurses safely while ensuring our safety as well. When the test centres opened again, our nurses took their OSCEs, and as of March 2021, we have successfully trained 158 nurses and supported them in passing their OSCEs and obtaining their PINs. We currently have these nurses working in our community and aiding the fight against the pandemic.”