Celebrating Kathrin and Tammy

Tammy and Kathrin work as Clinical Educators at East Kent Hospitals University NHS Foundation Trust and have won a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for their team mates.

The pair provide clinical training and support for all care staff, working together with a team of educators. Kathrin is also a matron and supports the Trust’s overseas nurses.

Tammy trained as a nurse in her native Australia, moving to the UK in 2018. Her experience caring for a friend’s relative when she was younger spurred her on to pursue a career in nursing.

“I thought I might be an author or work in the local police service,” remembers Tammy “but I had the chance to help someone who had cystic fibrosis, providing physiotherapy and medical care.

“Also as a single parent I wanted to have a respected career and be a positive role model for my daughter, so nursing seemed the obvious option for me.”

Tammy gained experience working in care homes and in areas like palliative care, infectious diseases, blood dialysis and enjoys her current clinical educator role.

“I love that you are there for patients when they’re feeling at their worst,” says Tammy “and able to provide that support and compassion.

She is also passionate about providing pastoral support to new Trainee Nursing Associates after supporting healthcare assistants to apply for a position.

“I love supporting colleagues to learn and develop their care skills, often giving them the confidence to get over barriers in their way like low self-esteem or undiagnosed dyslexia, for example.”

Similarly, Kathrin wanted to be a nurse from a young age after experiencing family members needing medical help and ongoing care support.

“At school, people tried to talk me out of becoming a nurse,” remembers Kathrin “but I remember being determined to get my nurse training place. I like that nursing has always been a respected job to be doing and there wasn’t anything else I was interested in.”

Kathrin’s nursing experience started in 2004 and she’s worked in general nursing and in infection prevention control. She became a Clinical Nurse Specialist for a while and then secured a job as a Ward Manager of the Trust’s isolation ward.

“I love that I can respond to another human being and make a positive difference to their lives, and make them feel that they matter,” says Kathrin.

“Part of my busy role is to support the Trust’s overseas nurses. They are amazing people! I don’t know how I would manage to relocate and do my job in another country, leaving family behind and dealing with language barriers, when it’s already such a challenging job. They are such an inspiration to all of us!”

Tammy and Kathrin were nominated for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for their colleagues. Tamara Thomas, Deputy Head of Nursing, explains why they are such important people at the Trust,

“Tammy has gone the extra mile to ensure that those within healthcare support worker roles have access to training and development but most importantly has made them feel valued by personally reaching out to them and listening. Tammy has been noticed by many for her positive, passionate personality and I truly believe that without Tammy’s influence and drive that many of our healthcare support workers would have nowhere to go to develop further.

“It was quite apparent that our overseas nurses didn't feel supported so Kathrin didn't just take this in her stride, she went above and beyond. She questioned processes, listened to overseas nurses, changed current practices and created a bespoke induction package and the feedback has been outstanding! I recently spoke to some of our overseas nurses who said they felt so welcomed and a part of the team. This is due to the amount of work Kathrin has done in such a small space of time to ensure their experience is positive.

“I’m so proud of them both and they truly deserve this recognition.”

Tammy and Kathrin reacted to winning their Cavell Star Award.

“I feel humbled and honoured to be recognised by my colleagues like this,” says Tammy “It also reminds me why I’m doing this role, making a difference to colleagues’ lives enabling them to provide the best care to patients.”

“I was completely overwhelmed!” says Kathrin “It was an amazing feeling and I feel so proud to get a Cavell Star Award from my colleagues.

“It’s not an easy job,” continues Kathrin “and you have to be able to rely on your colleagues to have your back and support you to do the best for your patients.”

“My team means everything to me!” says Tammy “They’ve been the greatest support, especially during the last year or so through the pandemic. They are like my second family, they’re there for the good days and they’ll pick you up on the bad days and they remind you of your worth.”

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