2020 marks the Year of the Nurse and Midwife, and on Sunday 5th July, the NHS turns 72. To celebrate, a three-generation family of nurses in roles at Royal Preston Hospital told us what being a nurse means to them, and how it feels to pass on the baton.
Noeleen Griggs, from Preston, trained at what was formerly the Preston Royal Infirmary 50 years ago. Her daughter, Anneen Carlisle, has lived in Preston all her life and did her training in Preston. Anneen has been a nurse for 28 years. Anneen’s daughter and Noeleen’s granddaughter, Amelia, trained in Preston and has been a qualified nurse for a year.
L-R Anneen Carlisle, Amelia Carlisle, Noeleen Griggs
What made you become a nurse?
Noeleen: I have always wanted to be a nurse, since I was at school. My sister and I went on a work experience trip to Wales to look after the elderly. This is when my inspiration was planted and my passion for a nursing career began.
Anneen: For the past 28 years, my enthusiasm to deliver effective and safe patient care has been abundant. This came from seeing mum going to work happy when I was younger, and I was very good at organising things as child - with a splash of bossiness, which my mum thought were good skills to have as a nurse!
Amelia: I have wanted to be a nurse since my mum gave me a first aid kit when I was 8. When my younger brothers used to fall over and hurt themselves, I used to like caring for them, cleaning their grazes and putting plasters on them! I enjoy talking with my Mum and Grandma about their past nursing experiences, some of them are really funny.
What does your current role entail?
Noeleen: I currently work on 2b, a busy neuro unit which consists of emergency brain and spine injury admissions and also planned surgical admissions. The role is highly demanding and challenging at times, but also very rewarding.
Anneen: My current role is Surgical Assessment Unit Manager, I manage over 60 staff on a busy emergency unit. My focus is to keep people safe and support the patients journey through their acute health challenges.
I have also recently been appointed Staff Governor, I wanted to share my wealth of experience to support the board in ways to continue to improve.
Amelia: My love of caring for people is why vascular was my first choice. As a qualified nurse, I really enjoy helping patients wounds heal and all the effective and complex dressings that are available to promote the healing process.
Why have you devoted so much of your career to nursing?
Noeleen: I have stayed in nursing for this long for many reasons – mainly the lifelong friends and most of all, the patients I care for. The challenges are endless, however working for a trust like LTHTR provides an ever-improving, high-tech environment, making the job exciting and fulfilling.
Anneen: I have devoted so many years to nursing because I enjoy it. No two days are the same, and being surrounded by incredible, like-minded people that understand the daily highs and lows encountered makes it so worthwhile. Each day I learn something new, whether that’s medical or someone’s life experience.
What advice would you give to future nurses?
Noeleen: I’d want prospective nurses to know that nursing opens up doors to advance to a diversity of opportunities.
Anneen: I would say that if you like variety, to meet truly caring and compassionate people and to learn new things every day, go for it
Amelia: My advice to future nurses would be to always be attentive to your patients, a patient always remembers the nurse that took time to be kind. Also be kind to yourself, the training is tough but worth it in the end.
How would you describe the NHS?
Noeleen: I am so proud that my daughter and granddaughter have followed my footsteps into the NHS, as it has always been and continues to be magnificent.
Anneen: The NHS continuously strives for quality. Lancashire Teaching Hospitals always leads with compassion. I feel privileged to work at a trust that really cares about the patient experience and staff wellbeing.
Amelia: The NHS keeps people safe – it’s as simple as that.