Our Nurses leading the way

On 12th May, 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 joined the Nursing Profession!

Star Nurse profile: Gigi Encea – Registered General Nurse (RGN)

Tell us a bit about yourself?

I was born in Romania in a small village. I wanted to be a Nurse for as long as I can remember! I also really enjoyed learning about the human body in Biology.  After I left school, I studied nursing for three years and after completing my training I worked voluntary for a year in a hospital that specialises in Lung disease. After that, I worked for a private practice in a ship yard where I was solely responsible for 7,000 employees.

I came to the UK nine years ago and made the decision to work as a Health Care Assistant (HCA). I still needed to work on my English language, as I wanted to be able to confidently communicate with doctors and patients – which I have accomplished. I have now been working at Hastings Court for five years!  

What is your role and what does it entail?

My role as RGN is to look after and promote the physical and mental wellbeing of our residents. I also assess and establish bespoke care plans around the resident’s individual needs. By providing personalised care, this enables me to efficiently provide a high standard of care for each resident I look after.  A part of my role is also to liaise with other medical professionals i.e., GPs to keep them updated with our resident’s medical needs. Finally, I enjoy communicating with resident’s families, especially during the last year.

What does Nursing mean to you?

One word – Everything!  I am proud to be a Nurse at Hastings Court and part of the Oakland Care family.

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

The Pandemic was a very challenging time for all, but one thing that demonstrated a positive outcome was the team spirit during lockdown. Everybody has supported each other; we became the residents’ families and they became ours.  I have also built great relationships with residents’ families during the Pandemic, by keeping in daily contact with them and reassuring them throughout the last 12 months.

What has been really difficult is seeing the residents isolated from loved ones, not being able to see each other has been traumatic and this had an impact, although our team members have done extremely well in keeping up the morale of all.

What support have you received during this time?

The support I received from local management and senior management at Oakland Care has been exceptional.  It was reassuring that our Home Manager, Georgina and Deputy Manager, Kaye had an open-door policy throughout the pandemic, whereby myself and other team members could always pop in to speak to management if needed, for either professional or emotional support.  An extra benefit was small little extras, like pizza Friday that had been ongoing through the last year!

Also, the great leadership, support and guidance of the effective set up of infection control measures, meant this helped keep the spread of Covid-19 to a minimum in the home – keeping residents and team members safe during the Pandemic.

Georgina Gamble – Hastings Court Home Care Manager, shared her thoughts on the impact on nursing during the Pandemic:

“During Covid-19, Gigi was exceptional at keeping in close contact with family members which prevented them from having to worry unduly about their loved ones.  He was also very diligent with his team in maintaining infection control measures during an outbreak in the home.  When families could not visit, his ethos was always that we treat our residents like we treat our own family and if anyone was having a difficult time, he would ensure that they received that extra special treatment.  He always ensured that he knows every detail about his residents in order to provide them with the best care possible.

Hastings Court coped extremely well during the pandemic due to our forward thinking and planning ahead.  Extra PPE was ordered for all team members in advance, so we were never at any risk of running out.  Our infection control procedures and lockdown measures were all put into place ahead of government guidelines being issued and a solid contingency plan was written to cover all eventualities. We have led in new ways of working by introducing online GP consultations.  These have actually become beneficial to Hastings Court and these will more than likely continue to take place after the Pandemic is over”.

Find out more about Hastings Court Care Home