HEALTH: Events mark International Nurses’ Day across Greater Glasgow and Clyde

By Lucy Ashton

Staff from across NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde have been celebrating International Nurses’ Day with a series of events across our hospitals and primary care sites.

Teams at Glasgow Royal Infirmary were treated to a musical tribute, with a pipe band, Sticks and Kicks, performing outside the hospital on Thursday evening. Other musical tributes took place across the week of events, which included a number of recruitment days to grow the nursing community across hospital sites.

A number of our nursing team have described why the job is so vital.

Susan Conner, 41, a senior charge nurse at Inverclyde Royal Hospital, was inspired to become a nurse after seeing the care her sister received. She said: “Sadly my sister passed away a few years ago, and seeing the care the nurses gave not just my sister but my whole family, I felt that this would be something that I could do and that I would love to help families the way mine was.

During her six and a half years as a nurse, Susan has faced a number of challenges, most recently working on a COVID ward during the pandemic.

Susan, from Greenock, added: “Working through the pandemic on a COVID ward was a challenge, nursing COVID patients who were unable to have family attend the ward was heart breaking, but we always managed to have a smile ready and ensured bed spaces where personalised where possible to help them feel a little more at home and being surrounded by loved ones photos.”

Harrison S. Salifu, 34, has been a nurse for six years and recently joined the amazing team at the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Paisley.

Caring Harrison, who is from Ghana, made the decision to get into nursing as he wanted to follow a career path that would allow him to learn and develop while being able to help communities and support people.

He said: “I wanted a career that has a direct impact on people’s lives and nursing was one of the professions in which you get to touch people from all walks of life, especially at their higher and lower moments. I always feel joyed and emotional after giving my best to care for a patient.

“If anyone is thinking of impacting the lives of people then nursing is the best option as a career. The future of nursing as a profession is bright and the option to go into different career paths and development is also available.”

In 2015, an earthquake devastated the people of Nepal. After witnessing the impact on communities and the work of health care professionals trying to help, Nikita Thapa decided to become a nurse.

Nikita, 21, worked as a nurse in Nepal for four years, before moving to Glasgow to continue to learn and gain further experience.

She said: “I chose the nursing profession because there was a huge earthquake in my country in 2015 when I graduated from my high school. In that time, I saw so many people who needed help, so I decided to become a nurse. The most rewarding thing I always find about my job taking care of someone and seeing them get better and improve.

“I always wanted to bring something new while working as a nurse so I decided to get more experience by coming to the UK which is very advanced and developed in the medical field compare to other countries.

“The best advice I can give is welcome to this wonderful career of Nursing. Never stop learning. Technology and the profession continue to grow and you are the resource for the lives you touch. To be most effective and greatest resource for each patient is to keep your knowledge fresh and updated.”

Emma Slaven has been a nurse for 17 years, following her childhood dream.

Working as a staff nurse at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow, Emma, 38, has faced a number of challenges during her career, providing the highest level of care to our patients and supporting families during the toughest of times.

She said: “Providing family centred care is huge in paediatric nursing. The area in which I work patients and families come in very scared of a possible diagnosis. I feel that If I have gave any comfort to those families going through such a hard time then I feel I’ve done my job right.

“From a young age I always told my mum that I wanted to be a nurse- I think I have always had a caring nature and helping others was always something that I was passionate about so it was just natural for me to become a nurse.

“Anybody who wants to come into nursing needs to know that even in the worst shifts and situations, a career in nursing is very rewarding and worth more than any stressful shift.”

Zahida Zahid decided she wanted to become a nurse after being inspired by the commitment and caring nature of her mother, who has worked as a midwife and health visitor in Pakistan.

After working as an Emergency Department nurse for six years in Pakistan, Zahida,30, decided to move to Scotland where she continues to help save lives at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital.

She said: “My mother is a health professional who has worked as a midwife and a health visitor, with extensive expertise and currently working as a supervisor in the remote areas of Pakistan. I decided to pursue a career in the same field after witnessing her work dedication.

“It’s a wonderful job with a huge responsibility, I believe that any individual can make a difference in the whole health-care system.”

Angela O’Neill, Deputy Director of Nursing at NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde, said: “Our nursing colleagues are an inspiration to us all and provide the very best in patient-centred, compassionate care, every hour of every day. The last few months have been perhaps the most difficult we have faced since the beginning of the pandemic, but the response of our teams has been phenomenal. I want to take this opportunity to thank each and every one of the team who are providing outstanding care during the most difficult of times. They are simply the best and I’m incredibly grateful for their care and commitment.”

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