Nurses and Midwives hear how they “Leave Fingerprints on Patients’ Lives Forever” on International Day of the Nurse

15th May 2023
Cathy Curran (Clinical Manager, Downe Hospital), Roisin Coulter (Chief Executive) & Caroline Smith (Ward Sister, Downe Hospital)

“I had a cardiac arrest on the operating table last year. Few thought I would survive, but I did.  I watched the dedicated team of ICU nurses care for me and they inspired me to become the Student Nurse I am today.”   These are the words of Ciara Devine, a second year Mental Health Student Nurse who together with all the nurses throughout the Trust International Day of the Nurse and Midwifery.

Nursing and Midwifery staff and students gathered at Ards Community Hospital to mark this important day and celebrate the  exceptional care they give to patients and service users every day.  It also provided them with an opportunity showcase some of the amazing work being undertaken across the South Eastern Trust.

Second year Mental Health Nursing Student, Ciara Devine reflected on her decision to become a nurse sharing how she experienced a cardiac arrest during a routine hospital operation and required care in ICU.  Following a period of recovery, she is now back on her feet and has returned to her second year placement within Mental Health services.  Her illness made her even more determined to pursue her nursing career and to provide the same level of care that she experienced in hospital.  Ciara explained, “After my illness, I thought I was never going to get my life back.  The chances of survival was extremely slim, but I fought back.

“I never expected to have a cardiac arrest, it can impact on your health both physically and mentally.  Mental health is so important and having been through a lot of trauma, being able to commence my second year placement in mental health services was so special to me.”

Advanced Nurse Practitioners  work across the Trust. Julie Trimble, is one of them, working in the Short Stay Paediatric Assessment Unit.  She detailed the importance of this role. “An Advanced Nurse Practitioner undertakes additional training and can see, treat or discharge patients without referring to a doctor or other members of the healthcare team.  Advanced Nurse Practitioners have the right skills to do the right thing at the right time!  A major benefit of becoming an Advanced Nurse Practitioner is the opportunity to progress your career clinically, without taking on a managerial role. ”

Highlighting the importance the role midwifery plays, Consultant Midwife, Hannah McCauley stated, “People think midwifery is about women giving birth, it is actually more than that. Every person on this earth was born and have used maternity services.  If women have a positive experience of care, they will adopt behaviours that will improve their public health and that of their family and communities.”

Recognising the significant role of Nurses and Midwives within the South Eastern Trust, Executive Director of Nursing and Midwifery, David Robinson praised staff and said, “This event has provided a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Nursing and Midwifery.  Nursing and Midwifery is the backbone of Health and Social Care, with a fantastic team of staff delivering the best care, day and night.

“Nurses and Midwives go above and beyond every single day. The impact they have on patients and their families is like little finger prints on their lives forever.”