Tag Archives: Patient

“Treat Everyday as a Privilege” TRUE NURSING #6C’s

I think that even after 25 years of nursing if I stop feeling touched by experiences then perhaps I should think of a different career.

I think that even after 25 years of nursing if I stop feeling touched by experiences then perhaps I should think of a different career.

Every now and then a post comes in that makes me STOP!

None more so than this post, from a nurse who spoke to me a few weeks ago and said “I have something for your blog.” And what a “something”. True nursing I call it. Compassion, Care, Competence, Communication, Commitment and Courage!

I know who wrote this, but she wants to remain anonymous. But this is nursing pure and simple.

I count it a huge privilege to work in a Trust alongside members of staff like this. So read on- I hope it rings bells with you.

“You called me to come. I could see in your eyes that you knew he had already gone. You wanted to stay but I took you away whilst the doctors did what they could. We sat quietly. You held my hand and told me you didn’t feel much like talking.

As we sat in the still silence you did start to talk and your eyes lit up as you told me how you’d met, how initially you had played hard to get and turned away his offers for a dance. ‘He’s too tall for me.’ You told your Father, yet without fail every week at the same time on the same evening he would turn up in his uniform and you continued to pretend to be uninterested. Eventually you caved into his requests for a dance and from then on never left his side….until now.

This illness had divided you both for the first time.

You promised you would visit every day, and so you did, setting off early, catching 3 buses and waiting with apprehension to see what each new day would bring.

He had been so very ill and had started to improve, there was talk of rehab, talk of home- oh to be able to get him home. This thought had meant that you could both face the next day together. It meant there was hope.

But he had gone. You showed no emotion when I took you to see him. How do you say goodbye to your life’s companion of 50 years? You didn’t want to leave him. You cupped his face in your hands, held his head next to yours and kissed his lips as you always had. Your tears ran down his face as you whispered to him ‘you promised you would never leave me’.

I left you alone finding it awkward staying for such a personal time and finding it difficult to imagine how you could possibly be feeling saying goodbye to someone you had shared most of your life with. Every day we work is a privilege and today I shared in a very precious time with you. I felt quite affected by the experience and I think that even after 25 years of nursing if I stop feeling touched by experiences then perhaps I should think of a different career. We often get so wrapped up in ‘pressure’ and tasks that we lose sight of the wider picture. We all have the opportunity to make a difference and to feel that each day is a privilege.”

Break the Stereotype- See the Person: Frankie Cocozza, an MP, Ivy and Stan

Frankie Cocozza signs Charlie's T-Shirt

Frankie Cocozza signs Charlie’s T-Shirt

Frankie Cocozza hugs my daughter Suzy and likes her Fred Perry T-Shirt!

Frankie Cocozza hugs my daughter Suzy and likes her Fred Perry T-Shirt!

Sometimes I think my life is weird and it seems to go from the sublime to the ridiculous. So I thought I’d write about the last few days and the people I have met. Now we all have to make sense of the world as best we can; and I choose to do it by (in my best moments) treating everyone as a unique person. It is so easy to slip into stereotyping people- the pop star, the MP, the old lady etc. etc. etc. I try to avoid this, and it makes for interesting times. Here are some people where seeing beyond the stereotypes enriches everyone.

On Friday night I took part in a debate with Robin Walker MP. OK, MP’s are not flavour of the month. Seen as power hungry, agenda driven, expense laden, out of touch. But to hear Robin speak you couldn’t help but be impressed. Here is someone who is passionate about the NHS, wants to do his best, and lives by his late father’s mantra: “Efficiency with compassion.” Beyond the stereotype is someone who is giving himself to public service in a sacrificial way spending huge hours trying to make the community a better place.

On Saturdy morning, I was called into Worcester Royal. Ivy (not her real name) had died and, whilst the family had gone home, the said they would be comforted by some prayers for her. As I entered the room, I saw this frail lady who had passed onto another journey. So easy to see just this fraction of her life. But if we look beyond the stereotype, we see someone who has lived to a good age, has contributed to the common good, has produced children who are still making an impact on the world. Laughed and loved; faced challenges and trials some of which she overcame; and will be missed. The world is diminished because Ivy is no longer with us.

On Saturday evening I was called into Worcester Royal again. This time to Stan (not his real name) who was in his 80’s. He was facing some challenges. So easy to see the poorly old man in hospital. Yet Stan, not a religious man, wanted God’s help. “God came to my aid several times when I was in the War and I want him to help me again.” Here is a man who served his country, has lived a good life, has countless experiences which, if we could only listen, would give us fresh insight. We prayed together and on seeing him a day later he said what a difference that had made. But it had made a difference to me too as we laughed together and he shared some of the stories of his life.

On Sunday I went down to Brighton with my daughter Suzy who had done a first class job of manipulating Dad to get her way. She wanted to go to a charity day. The day was in aid of a young man who had died and had donated his organs(http://www.connors5.com/home). This selfless action has had an impact on others and had helped 6 people who would not be around today. And at this event, in a football stadium in Peacehaven, some of his friends had come together to raise money and remember Connor. One such friend was Frankie Cocozza. My impression of him previously (and this is where I failed in my aim of always trying to see the person) was of a jumped up little no talent oik (sorry Frankie) who got booted off the X-Factor. But seeing him on Sunday, with no airs and graces, happily having his photo taken with his fans and signing my duagters’ T shirts I changed my mind. He was a man who was helping support something worthwhile; supporting a community; and making a difference.

So don’t believe all that you read. See the person. Work hard to listen. And the most extraordinary things come come of that. By all means, keep all your stereotypes if you like, even stereotypes of the Chaplain, but your life won’t be as rich and you’ll miss out on so much.


I had the joy of being contacted by Pre-Op Assessment who had received a card from a patient praising one of their staff. It is outstanding.

Dear Sir/Madam,

In all my years of good, bad and very poor experiences at Worcester Royal, I just have to write to you as I received such excellent treatment yesterday Wednesday 5th June at my pre-op appointment.

I saw Jo at the pre-op clinic and I have to say that she was the most warm, kind, and caring person I have ever seen at Worcs Royal. I cannot praise her enough and her explanation of all the procedures was excellent.

If everybody could try to achieve Jo’s caring personality the world wold be a better place. She made my day as you can see.

I enclose a personal thank you card for Jo; if you would please pass it on to her.
Well done pre-op dept.

(Name supplied)

It made me think:

Here is a lady who has had lots of visits to WRH. She can spot good and bad patient care.

Elaine Harbison (Junior Sister) who brought the card to me had such obvious pleasure that one of the team has been thanked. This is the sign of a supportive and functioning team.

People don’t develop in a vacuum. The department and the staff within it provide and ethos and ambience that empowers caring and excellence from staff

Jo is outstanding- I wonder what patients say about you? And if it is not as glowing, then how might you make it so? Perhaps we should ask Jo!I think our thanks should be returned to this lady. Taking the time to write in is not easy. And to give such praise in the light of long experience of NHS treatment is powerful.



I know the Hospitals work 24/7 and weekdays and weekends mean little to some of us (I am on call this weekend) but it is still Friday. And the Hospital takes on a different complexion on Saturday and Sunday. So I thought I would end the week with posts to make us smile. Not funny, just good news of a job well done.

Patients are invited to feedback to the hospital on a form with a smiley face on it or a sad face. Here are three comments from Avon Unit. I don’t know the stories behind them; I don’t need to- only to celebrate that these patients were more than satisfied with thier experience.

🙂 This is a lovely ward (Avon 3). The staff are really nice and caring but professional! Thank you very much.

🙂 I am very pleased and impressed with all the staff that are looking after me. The work excellently as a team. They are very friendly and helpful even though they are overworked. I am considering writing to the Prime minister and letting him know about the fantastic work and team that work on Avon 3. Special thanks to Antonia (nurse) and Julie (HCA)

🙂 I was treated with every respect and all my needs, medical and personal, were met.

🙂 The level of care that has been extended to our mother has been faultless. All staff have been kind and respectful and have explained her medication clearly. We are grateful that a stressful time has been handled so well.

🙂 Very good! Everyone is so nice. Staff are wonderful.

Obviously, despite the media’s fixation with doom and gloom, staff are doing some things right! I wonder what tips would you give to your colleagues. Add your wisdom via a comment below on how you treat patients or how you would want to be treated.

I am sure that every ward has comments like these. Get your ward manager to send them to me and you could see the comments on your unit on the blog for all to see.

Thanks for your continued support. Over 8000 views now and it’s all down to you.

Oh and smile, not just because it’s Friday but because you do a great job 🙂

FOCUS ON STAFF: Staff Nurse Kathryn Norwood RN (Laurel Unit). True Nursing

minnie nurse

Kathryn send this picture of herself!

Kathryn is one of my favourite nurses (I know you shouldn’t have favourites but I have many and you are probably one of them as well). She called me in to Laurel one dark evening to pray with a fragile elderly lady who wanted a prayer for forgiveness. The fact that Kahterine had the presence of mind and emotional intelligence to recognise that the spiritual needs of this patient were important is all credit to her. When I got to the ward she treated the lady with such warmth and compassion that it was obvious that she had spent time really nursing her.

Here she answers some questions and speaks openly and frankly about her nursing.

Who are you and where do you work?

My name is Kathryn. I am a staff nurse at Worcester Royal Hospital, I became a nurse because I wanted to help people I always admired the nurses who looked after a young friend of mine was admitted with a brain tumour. They were amazing and ever since that day I wanted to help and change people’s lives the way they did.

What is nursing about for you?

To me nursing is all about the patient it’s what they need from medication and infusions to a simple chat and polite conversation. I feel that there is too much influence on what nurses can and can’t do based on the budget the hospital gives each ward, but we still do our best. I love nothing more than when I get a chance to sit down and talk to a patient about what they used to do and what their jobs is now, or even what family they have at home. I find I get more information from them when you show a genuine interest and take the time to listen instead of simply filling out assessments and reading their notes; patient interaction is key to getting their care right.

Can you remember an event when you were proud of the care you gave?

One example that I am proud of the care I and the staff I work with provided was when I was talking to a patient and discovered that he had been planning to get married, due to them being in hospital it had been postponed. The patient was palliative, but thanks to efforts made by staff on the ward and Drs alike we were able to have a service for him in our procedure room. The patient expressed to me afterwards that it was a great weight off his mind knowing that he was married, and his family were so very grateful that we were able to do this for him.

What are your dreams and aspirations?

I would love to be able to go abroad when there is a crisis and help, I always see aid workers and Drs going to help and would love to be able to go and help. Other than that at the moment I’m happy being a little old staff nurse, who works on a wonderful ward with wonderful staff who work hard together to provide the best care we can and meeting amazing people.

Anything else you want to say?

I sometimes feel like nurses in general are always put down , the bad things that happen are always made more of a deal of than the good, and there is a lot of good being done throughout the hospital.

There are things I’d change but the main thing would be the staffing levels on wards. Sometimes if you’ve got several admissions into your team on a ward, due to the fact you have a time limit to complete the paperwork you spend more time with the new patients sorting paperwork then observing the patients you already have. Patient care should come first not paperwork, and there is far too much paperwork. But anyway in general I love working at Worcester royal hospital and have no intention from moving any time soon.