Celebrating our nurses on International Nurses Day

To celebrate International Nurses Day 2024, we caught up with three of our nurses to ask them about what the day means to them.

Sarah Jesuthasan, Infection Prevention Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist at Nuffield Health Ipswich Hospital

What does International Nurses Day mean to you? 

International Nurses Day is a time to celebrate the invaluable contributions nurses make to healthcare worldwide. It's a day to recognise the dedication, compassion and expertise that nurses bring to their roles every single day. 

For me, it's about honouring the incredible impact nurses have on patient care and acknowledging the tireless efforts they provide to improve the lives of others.

What is your proudest achievement during your career?

One of the proudest achievements during my career is undoubtedly the successful implementation of the Clinical Waste Project at our hospital. Being part of the waste working group and leading this project has been immensely rewarding. 

Seeing tangible improvements in waste management practices and the positive impact it has had on our clinical teams fills me with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Another significant achievement would have to include obtaining my degree in Infection Prevention and Control whilst working as an Infection Prevention Nurse, a theatre scrub nurse and managing a busy family life.  

Can you explain how the Clinical Waste Project has benefited the clinical teams at your hospital?

The Clinical Waste Project has brought about significant benefits for our clinical teams. By implementing more efficient waste management practices and introducing eco-friendly solutions, we've not only reduced our carbon footprint but also streamlined workflows and improved safety protocols.

Our clinical teams now have access to better resources and training, enabling them to focus more on patient care rather than waste management logistics.

What do you enjoy about working for Nuffield Health?

What I enjoy most about working for Nuffield Health is the collaborative and supportive environment. There's a real sense of teamwork and camaraderie among colleagues, which fosters a positive and empowering workplace culture.

Additionally, Nuffield Health's commitment to innovation and excellence in healthcare allows me to continually grow and evolve in my role as an infection prevention nurse.

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a nurse at Nuffield Health? 

I would wholeheartedly encourage anyone considering becoming a nurse at Nuffield Health to seize the opportunity. Nuffield Health provides a supportive and inclusive environment where nurses are valued for their expertise and dedication. 

With access to on-going training and development opportunities, as well as the chance to be part of innovative projects like the waste working group, nurses at Nuffield Health can truly make a difference in both patient care and sustainability initiatives. Joining the Nuffield Health team is not just a job – it's a rewarding and fulfilling career journey, which I am still actively enjoying after 27 years.

Beth Robinson, Infection Prevention Lead at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital

What does International Nurses Day mean to you?

For me, International Nursing Day is about celebrating all the roles that a nurse can cover. Nursing can have a much wider impact than people realise, it can be about providing people with specialised support or intervention, as well as prevention. We can teach people how to keep themselves healthy and well, while also taking care of them when they’re ill. 

What is your proudest achievement during your career?

I played a pivotal role in delivering and educating on infection control during the pandemic. Nuffield Health gives you the opportunity to progress your career and I’ve been supported by the company to take on further education studies. I have been able to achieve my post grade Diploma in infection prevention and control while working at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital.

I have managed to develop a full-time career with Nuffield Health while also balancing life as a single mum for much of it. I also suffer from an autoimmune disease called Crohn’s Disease and my experience of the challenges Crohn’s can present in everyday life has led me to get involved with the aim to install a stoma friendly toilet at Nuffield Health Leeds Hospital. I believe this will help patients suffering similar problems.

What do you enjoy about working for Nuffield Health?

Working at Nuffield Health allows a more personalised approach to patient care: there are smaller patient loads and good resources. I feel I get to know my patients and their families which is really rewarding when you know you have made a positive impact on their journey.

Tell us more about your work with local schools?

I’ve recently been involved with a research project focusing on hand hygiene for children in hospitals. I wanted to develop this further so I focused on Key Stage 1 and 2 education sessions. This involved training a number of helpers from the hospital who visit schools and we teach hand washing; how we get bacteria on our hands and when is the appropriate time to wash. It’s a really fun session for us and the children.

At the end, the children get to design a bug and some of these have made our information boards in the hospital. So far, we have attended three schools this year and have more in the pipeline to reach out to the wider community, including workshops with scouts and brownies groups. This work helps us to support our charities aims and social return on investment. We’ve done similar self-care workshops with our partners Leeds Rhinos, looking at healthy eating, exercise and hygiene.

What would you say to anyone considering becoming a nurse at Nuffield Health?

You can balance your career with family or other caring responsibilities. You can also develop and progress your career and you get to spend time with patients, which is why a lot of people join the profession. Working in a smaller organisation you get to know all the staff at all levels. I have made great friends for life working at Nuffield Health. We are all working to the same end result.

Rachael Brown, Infection Prevention Lead Nurse at Nuffield Health Warwickshire Hospital 

What does International Nurses Day mean to you?

It’s a chance to celebrate and take pride in our profession as nurses. I think often nurses underestimate the impact their work has on people’s lives. 

I work with a varied team across the hospital tea, and I am often blown away by the range of knowledge, skill and passion our nursing force delivers.

What is your proudest achievement during your career?

I started my nurse training 14 years ago and there have been many proud moments in my career. Graduating from university, putting on my first navy sisters uniform and most recently being asked to read a prayer at the 59th annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service at Westminster Abbey. 

How is your removal of couch covers project progressing inside and outside of Nuffield Health, which was the leading project in the Green Healthcare Leadership Programme How have you moved this on during your Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarship?

I am still talking about couch roll! The project has been launched nationally within Nuffield Health so that all 37 hospitals and 116 wellbeing sites have a toolkit to further reduce the inappropriate usage across the organisation. It is not without its challenges and pushbacks, but we continue to try and work towards supporting a more sustainable future for the organisation.

Outside of Nuffield Health, I have spoken with and shared the project with over 15 different NHS and other private healthcare providers. I am also hoping to publish a poster and oral presentation on the project at this years Infection Prevention Society Conference.

After completing the Green Healthcare Leadership Programme, you achieved a place on the Florence Nightingale Foundation Leadership Scholarship Programme. How has the programme supported your development as a nurse? 

The most enjoyable part of the Florence Nightingale Foundation (FNF) Scholarship has been meeting so many talented and like-minded people. There is a real sense of camaraderie amongst my group and I have developed a network of professionals who I know I will continue to utilise for many years to come. 

I am very grateful to have had so many different opportunities and experiences through FNF, that have impacted my professional and personal development.

International Nurses Day is on 12 May 2024, held each year on the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth. The World Health Organization (WHO) are focusing on their aims to reshape perceptions of nursing, demonstrating how strategic investment in nursing can bring considerable economic and societal benefits. More info is available here: International Nurses Day (who.int) 

Last updated Friday 10 May 2024

First published on Friday 10 May 2024