We salute you: Shropshire celebrates International Nurses’ Day - with video
Nurses across Shropshire who are helping the NHS face its biggest ever challenge are being celebrated as the world marks International Nurses’ Day.
Staff have shared their stories and received thanks and gifts to mark the occasion, which is celebrated worldwide and this year marks the bicentenary of the birth of Florence Nightingale – the founder of the modern nursing profession.
Nursing staff make up more than 50 per cent of the workforce at The Shrewsbury and Telford Hospital NHS Trust (SaTH), which runs Royal Shrewsbury Hospital and Telford's Princess Royal Hospital.
To mark International Nurses’ Day today, they received treats of goodie bags and cakes donated by Premier Foods.
Meanwhile, a virtual YouTube tribute concert by artists including James Blunt, Jess Glynne and Anne-Marie was aired on TV screens at the hospitals.
Messages and pictures of support have been shared on social media and a video was created to share the experiences and inspirations of nursing staff.
Watch the video:
Louise Barnett, the trust's chief executive, said: “This year’s International Nurses’ Day comes at a remarkable time as the frontline charge against the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
“SaTH’s nurses demonstrate the true mettle that lies at the heart of their profession and it is fantastic to have this opportunity to show our appreciation and to say thank you for all that they do to care for patients."
Maggie Bayley, interim chief nurse at SaTH, said: “SaTH’s nurses are dedicated, selfless and compassionate and their commitment has been demonstrated more than ever over the last few months as we all fight Covid-19 together.
“Our nurses continue to work tirelessly, and I’m proud of the values, professionalism and caring they have shown.”
Jennifer Probert is a paediatric ward manager at the trust and qualified as a paediatric nurse in 2010.
She says compassion, kindness and quick problem solving skills are key to being a good nurse.
She added: "Nursing can't be compared to any other career.
"You will not find a more rewarding, diverse, challenging, enjoyable and humbling career."
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Severn Hospice has also shown appreciation and thanks for its nursing staff.
This year’s theme for International Nurses’ Day is compassion and the hospice’s director of care feels it fits her nurses down to the ground.
Since it was formed 30 years ago, the hospices in Shrewsbury and Telford have cared for thousands of people living with incurable illnesses.
Becky Richardson, director of care, said: “We have always been compassionate – that is part and parcel of being a nurse and the nurses here at Severn Hospice are excellent.
“You only have to listen to the families that we care for to learn that we really do excel. Despite Covid-19 we have been able to look after the people that come to us for end-of-life care in the way we have always done.
"We have not had to adapt to any new model, we have carried on doing what we love and that is to care for people in the way they deserve."
During the pandemic the charity’s Hospice@Home service and outreach team – both of which allow those with incurable illness to remain in their own homes, have increased in use and staff have been able to maintain their visits to those who need it.
The complementary therapists have been redeployed to man the reception and have been making hand creams for the clinical staff while the social workers and bereavement counsellors have been able to carry on their work over the telephone.
Becky added: “Life really hasn’t changed for us. Yes, we have to wear PPE and we have to adhere to social distancing around the hospice, but we haven’t changed in our approach to the patients.
"We have always said we can’t stop caring – and we will make sure that that carries on through this pandemic.”
Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust, which runs community-based healthcare services and the county's community hospitals, has also paid tribute to its nurses by sharing their stories.
Paulson Baby Arancheril is a charge nurse on Agnes Campbell ward at Bridgnorth Hospital.
He cares for adult in-patients on a 25-bed ward for rehabilitation.
He said: "I really enjoy my job, providing the best care to the patients, along with other multidisciplinary team members.
"As a team we can see the outcome of our patient care from the patient and family feedback and the speedy recovery of the patients.
"As an overseas nurse from India I am proud to be part of Shropshire Community Health NHS Trust."
Health visitor Michelle Ostrowski has 16 years of nursing experience and works in Telford.
She said: "I love how varied the role is, one minute I can be supporting a new mum to breast feed, the next assessing a child's development.
"We work with lots of other agencies to support children and families under five.
"I am very proud to be a nurse especially at the moment, whilst we are working to support families during the global pandemic."
Stacey Keegan, acting chief executive at The Robert Jones & Agnes Hunt Orthopaedic Hospital, near Oswestry, also thanked nurses in the trust for their hard work in a video on Twitter.
She said she is proud to have been a nurse for 25 years, adding: "My message to those new into nursing or nursing, certainly in the current situation that we're in, is that it's an amazing career. Nursing opens up so many opportunities."
Pictures of nurses drawn by children were also put up around the hospital and people across the county are being asked to 'shine a light' from their windows at 8.30pm tonight to show their gratitude and support.
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