Bangor Nurse Celebrates Fifty Years in Nursing

11th February 2022
Old picture of Carol Dobbin, another Nurse and a patient in bed

In 1972, when she was just 17 years old, Carol Dobbin began her nursing career.

50 years later, Carol, who is now a nursing Sister, is still providing care to patients in the Outpatients Department in Bangor Community Hospital.

Reflecting on her career to date, Carol says, “As a small child I always wanted to be a nurse. It is a privilege and it is my joy.”

Starting out as a nursing student on 2 January 1972 in Musgrave Park Hospital on the combined nursing and orthopaedics course, Carol spent many years studying to become a nurse before qualifying in 1975.  Carol was then offered a permanent nursing role in Musgrave Park Hospital in 1975 where she was placed on the medical wards and spent many years there until she took up a post in June 1978 in the ‘Casualty Department’ in Ards Hospital as a Plaster Nurse.  Carol continued in this role until 1981 when she had her daughter, Emma and then decided to return to work on night-shift for a period of time before giving birth to her son Steven.

In 1982, Carol moved to the ‘Intensive Nursing Unit’ in Grant House in Ards Hospital until 1991 when she returned to her much loved Accident & Emergency nursing role in Ards Hospital on a full-time basis until December 1995.  She then took up her current post as Sister in Bangor Hospital in February 1996 where she has worked ever since.

Throughout the years in her nursing career, Carol has seen many changes.  From her training days in 1972 when she spent time working in the Royal Victoria Hospital Accident & Emergency Department at the height of the Troubles, she has nursed thousands of patients,  including young children injured in explosions and shootings those who were responsible for such atrocities.

Picture of Nurse Carol DobbinWithin her current role as Sister, Carol has brought with her a lot of things she has learnt over the many years in her different roles.  Carol said, “If you don’t have a good team around you, you don’t have a good department or ward”.  Carol credits a lot of her success to her amazing team who support her, many of whom have been working alongside Carol for 18-20 years and are due to retire soon.

One of Carol’s main passions in nursing, is to help encourage staff to thrive and achieve their goals.  She is particularly proud to have encouraged one of her staff who started out as a Nursing Auxiliary and has now become a Deputy Sister.

The Covid pandemic did not stop Carol doing what she does best, caring for people. When her staff were redeployed to assist in other areas and Outpatient Services was temporarily suspended, Carol provided strength and support to her team, during an extremely stressful and frightening period.

As Carol celebrates am exceptional career that has spanned five decades she refelects, “I have loved every minute of my career. There have been good days, and bad days, but I’ve had to adapt over the years.  It has been a special, wonderful experience, and I am so privileged to work with a great team.  Nursing is my life, I just love it! I’ve no plans to retire just yet !!”