Our Nurses leading the way

On 12th May 2021, International Nurses Day marks the anniversary of the birth of Florence Nightingale. Known as the ‘Lady with the Lamp,’ she is considered to be the founder of modern nursing and still stands as an example of the importance of the profession today.

This year’s theme is Nurses: A voice to Lead – A vision for future healthcare.  Today, around the globe, we are joining men and women in celebrating those who have chosen to be part of the nursing profession.

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown more than ever the brilliance of our nursing family. Our Nurses have shown leadership at all levels to meet the extraordinary demands of the pandemic. The virus has brought new and unforeseen challenges to social care and our nurses are rising to those challenges magnificently on a daily basis.

As well as marking this important day in our care homes with celebrations and acts of appreciation for our Nurses, we have spoken to a few of the amazing Nurses that work for us to share their stories.

We caught up with our Nurses to find out more about them and why they went into the Nursing profession!

 Star Nurse profile: Stephanie Parish – Registered Mental Health Nurse (RMN)

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I am a RMN which stands for Registered Mental Nurse, and I qualified in 1984. I’ve been in the nursing profession for over 25 years. I have worked in various settings including secure units with mothers and babies and in the community. I have also supported people with eating disorders and worked in rehabilitation centres.

I have been at Woodland Grove for five years this year and the time has flown by!

What is your role and what does it entail?

Here at Woodland Grove, I work in the Nursing Unit and I’m responsible for the wellbeing of the residents and team members within my unit, as well as the home as a whole. My job as a Nurse covers a bit of everything – but most importantly I care for all my residents. Whatever else may come up in the course of the day, I’m always ready to support our teams.

What does Nursing mean to you?

I have dedicated my life to Nursing and to me the first and most important thing is to care about people. I also support Oakland Care’s values of Family, Integrity, Respect and Exceptional, as well as Live Love and Be Loved, as central to everything that I do for enriching the lives of our residents! What I like most about Woodland Grove is the personalised care we provide our residents and our team of dedicated Nurses who get to know each resident personally. I’m also incredibly proud that my daughter has also chosen to become a Nurse.

What were the highs and lows of Nursing during the Pandemic?

My role at Woodland Grove involves being the Lead Nurse for Infection Control. The Pandemic has been the most serious challenge in my 25-years of nursing so far. The hardest thing has been separating residents from their families, whilst trying to keep everybody safe. It’s also been hard due to lockdown not feeling able to have a proper holiday, as my focus has been on ensuring my residents are safe and well.

The best thing has been not losing anybody to the virus, being proud of the care team, how everyone has pulled together and followed the guidelines and turned up to the home with a brilliant attitude supporting each other like a family.

What support have you received during this time?

The Senior Leadership team at Oakland Care and Hazel McGwyne, our Home Manager have worked tirelessly to keep updated with government advice.  They have ensured we are regularly tested and have necessary PPE and give us encouragement to carry on, as well as letting us know how well we have been doing. As a team of care staff and residents we have kept our sense of humour and upbeat attitude and tried to support each other when things have been hard.

Hazel McGwyne – Woodland Grove Home Manager, shared her thoughts on the impact on Nursing during the Pandemic:

Covid-19 reminded me and the public the specialist skills Nurses have, how they uncomplaining, applied their skills to the needs of our residents.  Using my skills helped me to reassure and explain why we were following certain measures. I could see how being able to explain rationale eased family anxieties.

This pandemic showed how my Nurses lead the majority of the local population in how to protect the vulnerable, communicating with other Health Professionals and sharing a common goal between the home, Direct Nurses Services (DNS), GPs and Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) on how to protect our residents and ourselves.

The Pandemic highlighted how critical good Nursing care is in saving lives and each and every one of my Nurses showed great selfless commitment to that aim. They were always there ready to get involved and lead the teams without complaint or question – always putting resident safety first.

Find out more about Woodland Grove Care Home