May grew up in the Philippines in a family of doctors and nurses so there was always somehow an expectation that she would have a medical career.
“My family owns a hospital back home so I grew up helping out there,” remembers May “but I felt I wanted to break from tradition and do something different. So I studied Psychology and I have worked in HR, Training, and Marketing for a number of years.”
It wasn’t long, though, before May’s family encouraged her to change direction.
“About 15 years ago, my father challenged me to become a nurse! My sister is a doctor based in New York while my brother is a Solicitor here in London so they all persuaded me to start my nursing training.”
But in 2007, just before May qualified as a nurse, her father was diagnosed with cancer and sadly passed away within a few months.
“I decided to honour my father’s wish and continue with my new nursing career and in 2011, I finally made that bold decision to move to the UK with my husband and my then 10 year-old daughter. Since there was no way I could practice using my foreign credentials, I had to become a student again so I decided to take my Master of Business Administration Degree (MBA) at the LSE while obtaining qualifications to nurse in the UK in the University of Northampton at the same time. It was tough but looking back, it was all worthwhile.”
After doing agency work at Guy’s and St Thomas’ Hospital in London for a year, May applied for a Band 5 permanent position in the Dermatological Surgery and Laser Unit (DSLU). A year after, there was an opportunity for a Band 6 post and she went for it again and was successful. She was then appointed as Deputy Sister.
“I still think about my father when I’m nursing,” says May “and I’m glad he convinced me to change career.”
May was nominated for a Cavell Star Award for going above and beyond for the patients she cares for in the DSLU, where her team treat people with skin cancers. Megan McFall, Senior Staff Nurse and colleague explains,
“The patients love her! She somehow manages to remember every single patient’s name, even when they are returning after a few months. May is extremely kind, caring, compassionate and will do everything in her power to ensure that patients are safe, have a good experience and are always smiling and laughing when they leave us.”
May reacted to receiving her Cavell Star Award,
“It was really unexpected, I was lost for words! I feel very honoured and I want to thank my team for recognising me. It’s another reason to keep going and provide only the best care possible for our patients. My team mean the world to me and I value them as much as I value my family. I am constantly driven to do better each day because of my family and I want to serve as an inspiration to all my colleagues and aspiring nurses.“
“The Cavell Star Awards is a great way to uplift nurses’ spirits, showing us how much we are appreciated by our colleagues.