After nursing for 42 years Jean has retired, receiving a Cavell Star Award just before leaving her current role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist for children’s dermatology.
Her mother was a nurse and from the age of six Jean decided she wanted to become a nurse too.
“Around the age of 13 I remember speaking to someone whose relative trained at Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital,” remembers Jean “and as I liked children I thought that would be the place to train to become a nurse. So I applied and got a place.”
After qualifying as both a children’s and adult nurse, Jean worked in children’s units in Oxford, Manchester and Leeds. She’d done some of her adult nurse training at the Royal London Hospital and eventually returned there to run the children’s ward as a Sister. Jean started her most recent role as a Clinical Nurse Specialist in children’s dermatology in 1998.
“I helped to manage the children’s dermatology service working with the multidisciplinary team in clinics, on wards and in casualty” says Jean “The job is very varied, no two days were ever the same. I met so many different people and cared for children and young people of all ages. I loved it.
“It’s so satisfying when children get better and when I’m able to develop lasting relationships with children and their families who are living with long term illnesses. There was one child who came to see me just before I retired last week who is now 19 and I’ve been caring for her since she was a baby. It was wonderful and makes it all worthwhile.”
Jean was presented with a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for her patients over her long career. Colleague and Clinical Nurse Specialist Angela Cole explains,
“Jean is nationally renowned for her dedication and work in paediatric dermatology. There won’t be many nurses or doctors (students or qualified) that haven’t been taught by Jean, she is an amazing teacher and nurse.
“Over her career in East London she has learnt some Bengali to aid her nursing and teaching skills, Jean really does always go above and beyond for her patients. She is also a fabulous colleague and her door is always open to talk anything dermatology and to get advice. Jean will be truly missed.”
Jean reacted to winning her Cavell Star Award,
“It was amazing and a huge shock! It’s also very humbling to be recognised in this way by your colleagues and I’m really pleased that children’s dermatology is getting a mention as it’s an important area and skin diseases can be devastating for children and their families.
“I’m very grateful to have worked with lots of fantastic people over my career and I feel privileged to have been able to contribute something to the children’s dermatology service at the Royal London. I will miss my patients and their families and my colleagues enormously.”