Residents and staff at care homes in the south have hailed the vital importance of ‘nursing superheroes’ on International Nurses Day.
Colten Care’s 21 homes in Hampshire, Dorset, West Sussex and Wiltshire all took part in the annual celebration, presenting their nurses with cakes, cards and flowers.
Superhero-themed poster and card designs featured the strapline ‘Recognising Your Brilliance’ with the ‘S’ on ‘Superman’ imagery replaced with ‘N’ for ‘Nurse’.
Inspired by recent Banksy street art championing nurses, Colten’s artwork also showed graffiti-style hearts and messages of love with a spray-painted look.
The day was an opportunity for those Colten residents who were nurses themselves to reflect on what it means to be a nurse.
Dorothy Sage, who lives at Outstanding-rated Kingfishers in New Milton, said: “Nursing is a noble profession. The dedication to your duties always has to be outstanding. If I could choose my career all over again it would still be nursing.”
Dorothy was joined by fellow residents and former nurses Yvonne Harris and Wendy Golding for afternoon tea with members of the home’s current nursing team.
There was a similar get-together at Outstanding-rated Amberwood House in Ferndown. Nurses there brought along their graduation photos for a discussion about nursing with residents.
Home Manager Diane Nicholls, who qualified as a nurse in 1992, said: “Care home nursing is a privilege. You are sharing someone’s life as they are reaching old age. It’s lovely to share that journey with them.”
Another experienced nurse, Priya Joseph has gained successive promotions within Colten Care and has recently been appointed Home Manager at Outstanding-rated Woodpeckers in Brockenhurst. This is the same home she joined as a Healthcare Assistant nearly 20 years ago in 2002.
Priya said: “It’s vital to recognise the role nurses play. At Colten Care we are encouraged and complimented by residents, families and the management team. We’re proud to work here. In a hospital you focus on patients who come in, have their treatment and are then gone. At a care home you are caring for residents where they live, looking after them holistically and making sure they are happy and able to live as normally as they can.”
At Bourne View in Poole, colleagues receiving gifts included Care Coordinator Vicky Acott, one of seven Colten graduates from a two-year Nursing Associate foundation degree course at Solent University.
A second group of Colten colleagues are set to complete their first year on the course and a further eight have just begun.
Elaine Farrer, Colten Care Operations Director and a registered nurse herself, said: “Supporting colleagues to become Nursing Associates is just one way we invest in our nursing superheroes.
“Further into their careers, we enable our nurses to take on more leadership and complex clinical roles supported by reflective learning, team conferences and best practice sharing.
“The fact that all 21 of our homes are registered to provide nursing care gives residents huge reassurance that if their needs change over time they can continue to be cared for in familiar surroundings by the superheroes they know.”