Diane's story

Diane has worked in nursing for 45 years as a Healthcare Support Worker, doing both night shifts and day shifts over the decades caring for elderly and acutely ill patients. She recently turned 70 and retired from nursing but was missing her team, so she has returned to do a few regular shifts.

It was her husband who suggested that Diane try nursing as a career to fit around caring for the family.

“People say that I’ve always been a caring person” says Diane, “so I thought I’d try being a Healthcare Support Worker. I was approached to study to become a qualified nurse but I said no, I’d prefer to stay on the wards and be more interactive with the patients. I’m not comfortable writing assignments and using computers! I prefer the hands-on aspects of nursing as a Healthcare Support Worker.”

“Any admission to hospital is a daunting experience not only for the patient but also for the family. I feel part of my role is to alleviate their many anxieties where possible and to provide support and reassurance. I believe the caring process begins the moment they walk through the door.

“I also feel part of my role is to engage with patients and somehow alleviate their feelings of isolation and anxiety, humour is often used and enables them to forget their worries even if only briefly. This gives me a real sense of purpose.”

Diane was nominated by her team for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her colleagues. Team mate and Modern Matron Margaret Jenkins explains,

“Diane is kind and compassionate and puts everyone else before herself. Most of the team refer to Diane as ‘mum’ as she will always make sure others have had a break, a drink and something to eat. She will always be on hand with a listening ear or an extended arm for any hugs needed!

“We are so lucky to have such a great team who enjoy coming to work and Diane is one of the reasons why. Every team should have a Diane!”

Diane reacted to winning her Cavell Star Award,

“It was a big shock, I thought we were going into the office for a meeting! But it was lovely to get the award.

“My team mean a lot to me. We feel low sometimes too and things get us down but my nursing team are always there for each other and we help each other through the day. As well as our team huddle, we also have a team cuddle! We’re there for each other, without a doubt.”

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