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THE outstanding work of nurses and midwives at the Royal United Hospitals Bath NHS Foundation Trust (RUH), both before and during the coronavirus pandemic, is being praised and celebrated today to mark the 200th anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale.
Nurses and midwives make up the largest numbers of the NHS workforce, with just over 1,500 nurses and midwives working in the Trust. They are highly skilled professionals from a host of backgrounds that represent our diverse communities.
Lisa Cheek, Trust Director of Nursing and Midwifery, said: “Now, more than ever, I’m so proud to be a nurse. Over the past few months we’ve seen our resilience and our skills tested in ways none of us could have ever expected. But we have continued to care with bravery and empathy in the face of the unknown.
“Nursing now looks very different to how it did it Florence’s day, and I’m so inspired by the diversity of skills and opportunities represented within our profession at the RUH. But there are common threads – we all care with the utmost compassion, we lead and inspire, and we learn and we teach.”
The World Health Organisation has designated 2020 as International Year of the Nurse and Midwife, a 12-month campaign to showcase the diverse talents and expertise and to promote the two professions as careers with a great deal to offer.
The RUH Trust had planned a number of events throughout the year to highlight the skills and dedication of its nurse and midwife workforce, but sadly had to put them to one side to prepare for and respond to COVID-19.
Lisa Cheek said: “I’m so sorry we’re not celebrating this special milestone in the exciting ways we’d hoped. But for now, let me say a huge thank you to all our midwives and all our nurses for making a difference. I’m sure Florence, and every nurse who blazed a trail for us, would be so proud.”
Mariann Charlton, an Intensive Care nurse educator, said: “Working on the front line during all of this has been hugely challenging. It’s been difficult, I won’t deny that. It’s been amazing, I’ve met such amazing people and they have really made it a joy to come to work in such stressful times. The best moment is definitely when we clap a patient out – because it means they’ve got better and we’ve beaten it.”
Midwifery Sister Linda Davis said: “I was a bit anxious at first when the pandemic hit. We didn’t know what to expect, or how many cases we were going to have. Personally, I have just taken things day by day and come to work as normal, and as the days and weeks have gone we’ve all continued to provide the best possible service and care we can in these difficult times.”
Jirah Armandico, an Emergency Department nurse, said: “As a nurse you should expect the worse, you should expect to see different cases. At first, when Covid arrived, I had a little bit of fear. But the passion to do my best, to be with a patient, to touch their lives and make a big difference – that’s more important than the virus, I think.”
You can watch a film celebrating RUH nurses and midwives here
If you’re interested in a nursing career at the RUH, you can find out more information on our website https://bit.ly/3dyuiEg
Trust Head of Nursing for Medicine, Mandy Rumble, has just celebrated 40 years’ service at the RUH. Listen to Mandy’s memories here https://youtu.be/HngRPF7cUJE