International Nurses' Day 2020

11 May 2020, 10:04 a.m.

We celebrate our GOSH nurses and healthcare heroes every day at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH). This #InternationalNursesDay, we share the experiences of a few who are continuing to provide the best care possible for patients during this time.

Meet Renee, Senior Staff Nurse, Recovery Unit.

“I've been working at GOSH since 2017, first in intensive care and now in theatre recovery. I chose GOSH before I began my nursing degree because of its reputation for excellence and I wanted to be a part of that. Working here has been a rollercoaster in many ways. Ultimately it has taught me to be a stronger person and by extension a better nurse.

“In the last few months I've moved from a band five to a band six nurse. I've been humbly given more responsibility and I hope to make my BME colleagues proud, my recovery team proud and my patients proud.”

Meet Lora, Practice Educator on Flamingo Ward 

“I’m involved with clinical education across nursing staff within the Cardiothoracic Intensive Care Unit (CICU). I am also an ECMO nurse specialist, trained to manage an ECMO system (a machine that provides rest for the heart and lungs, allowing time to recover).

“I’ve been at GOSH for nine years now! The GOSH values (always experts, striving for excellence always) and my colleagues, who are compassionate and helpful, make it a very special place to work. Along with our patients, of course – their resilience in the face of adversity is always inspiring.

“Over the last two months, with the Practice Educators across all ICUs, I have been involved with upskilling ward nurses to help prepare for the different scenarios that might be brought about by coronavirus.”

Meet Ricardo, Nursing Associate on Elephant Ward 

“I was first employed by GOSH as a housekeeper in 2014. I soon became inspired by the passion of being a nurse, watching the amazing work of the colleagues that surrounded me on Elephant ward. In January 2017, I started my Trainee Nursing Associate program at London South Bank University.

“I feel very lucky to be part of the Elephant Ward team and my colleagues are hugely experienced and very keen to pass their knowledge on to the new members of staff. My development has always been encouraged and supported and I have constantly been offered opportunities of learning and career advancement.

“Recently, we have had to adapt our routine to the Trust’s new recommendations regarding COVID-19, which includes the rule that only one parent or carer is permitted to stay with their child. This means that we are on hand to support our patients even more than usually, but we are all happy to do so.”

Meet Ivona, Matron for Operations and Images

“People don’t always know what an Operating Department Practitioner (ODP) is or what we do. We have very similar training as our nursing colleagues but we specialise in the operating department, immediate pre and post phases and acute services. Our skills and abilities mirror the nursing profession and we are registered and accountable in the same way. It is my absolute pleasure to work alongside my nursing colleagues and I have learnt so much from them and I hope that it is mutual.

“I have always been fascinated by the hospital environment and knew that’s where I wanted to work. I applied to study the ODP course at GOSH because I have always loved working with children and young people and knew of GOSH reputation. During the training, we had to complete several adult placements which affirmed my interest in paediatrics.

"The best part of being an ODP is working in a truly multidisciplinary team. Once everyone has donned their scrubs, hats and mask, the hierarchy dissipates and everyone is working towards the same goal which is to make sure the patient is safe and has the best care that we can provide.

“I have only been in my post as the Matron for two months pre-COVID-19. It has been a steep learning curve but I’ve had fantastic support from all the Senior Leadership Team and other Matrons. I hope to become an advocate and a role model for the ODP profession within GOSH and nationwide, as I believe that there are many skills and abilities that we can bring to the healthcare workforce.”

Meet Gemma, Ward Sister on Leopard Ward 

“As Ward Sister on an acute respiratory ward, my job is to ensure that the ward runs smoothly, and patients and staff receive the care and support they need in a safe environment.

“After training in Ireland in General Paediatrics and Adult Nursing, I saw a post advertised at GOSH and decided to move over to London for a year before returning to Ireland. However, I fell in love with the Respiratory specialty and have stayed for 6 years with no plans to go home!

"The main things that have kept me at GOSH have been the opportunities to develop, the support available and the wonderful team ethos within the ward I work. I have progressed from a newly qualified nurse, to a ward sister, which has been amazing for my development both professionally and personally.

“Recently, our working life has changed. We have supported respiratory colleagues in other centers in taking some of their complex patients so that they can support the adult services in the area. On the wards we are also wearing PPE to ensure that we are all safe at work. This has been challenging at times, but everyone has pulled together extremely well, and the team have worked incredibly hard during this time."

Meet Lauran, research nurse on the Intensive Care Unit (ICU)

“As a research nurse on the ICU, we run varied studies that are all about finding the best way to care for our intensive care patients. One of the things I love about research nursing is you get to see how changes in clinical practice are implemented through research. Instead of following instructions, you get to see how those instructions were created. It could be comparing two different types of ventilation, or looking at how much oxygen we should give. Each study requires a lot of thinking, preparation and training to make sure it's safe and will give us the answers we need.

“During the coronavirus pandemic, a lot has changed. There were a flurry of research studies set up to better understand the virus, both national projects and more bespoke studies at GOSH. It’s intense, but the team have been amazing. They're used to working at a fast pace anyway, but they’ve had new information brought to them so quickly and they’re getting things in motion in record time. In the future, I think this will be something to look back on and be incredibly proud of.”

Meet Kelly, Senior Staff Nurse on Flamingo Ward 

“My partner had open-heart surgery at GOSH 14 years ago, and still has regular ECHOs. I met the GOSH surgeon who carried out his surgery, and he told me all about CICU and how great it is to work there. So I applied for a role three years ago, and the rest is history!

“It’s been a whirlwind since the start of 2020. I’ve gone from being a Band Five to a Band Six nurse, and helped to care and treat patients who have had coronavirus. Wearing PPE felt very different to anything I’ve ever experienced, but I’ve felt like my GOSH colleagues have become a part of my family. The teamwork has been incredible.”

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