International Nurses Day 2021 is dedicated to celebrating nursing staff all around the world and showcasing how important nurses’ roles are in the healthcare community. Taking place on Florence Nightingale’s birth date of May 12th, Active Care Group is proud to be raising awareness and recognition for our dedicated nurses who have been working at the forefront during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We highly value all our nursing staff across the Group and recognise each individual as the heart and the backbone of everything that we do. We have a variety of nursing staff for each division of care, so we want to celebrate and thank our nurses, personal assistants, support workers, care assistants, case managers and so many more for all the amazing, lifesaving work they undertake every single day.
Several of our case managers began their careers as nurses. Our case managers have kindly participated in this year’s International Nurses Day and shared their inspiring journeys with us in their own words.
Caroline Hughes-Lewis tells us about her progression from nurse to expert witness at Anglia Case Management.
“As I reflect on my career from newbie nurse to experienced nurse to case manager and to care expert, I can hardly believe I have been nursing for 38 years! (and I don’t look a day over 25!). A positive attitude is vital to feeling fulfilled by what we do, not worrying about each individual task, and whether we are ‘good enough’. I wish I had known this when I was 18 and starting out on my career. Now I am reaching retirement, I realise how much nursing has meant to me, and how much I have enjoyed being a case manager. If asked whether I would do it all again…. my answer is ‘definitely yes!”
Martin Woollard from the Anglia Case Management team has also come from a nursing background, see below to read his great story starting at just 18-years-old!
“Career pathways can be a funny old thing. If someone had told the 18-year-old me that I would train to be a nurse, I would have laughed. Fast forward a few years, and there I was, on a ward in a tunic. Trust me, there was not much laughing going on then. Nursing was sure a challenging career change, but one I wholeheartedly embraced. However, there came a time in my career journey where I needed a more focused role. I was also after regular working office hours, and less stress. This is when I took the transition into case management. The role was definitely more focused, the hours were certainly more regular, but I’m still not convinced about it being less stressful. The reward of the longer term ‘nursing’ within case management is something that I hope to continue for many years to come. If there are any nurses out there that are looking to combine clinical skills, people management and client focused work, then case management is a career change that I would proactively encourage.”
Our next story is from Julie Chorlton, Clinical Services Manager at Rehab Without Walls. Julie also shares her career progression from general nursing to following a case management pathway.
“I am a nurse through and through but after many years in general nursing wondered if there was another opportunity to use my skills. I decided to apply for a case manager role at the dawn of the millennium and have never looked back!
Case management allows me to apply all of my nursing skills (clinical knowledge, statutory service provision, medical management to name but a few) and work with a small caseload of clients co-ordinating their rehabilitation needs. There is laughter, tears and frustration at times but as a case manager I am in a role where I can really influence my client’s future. Communication on all levels is key and one that I think nurses especially excel in. No two days are the same and I experience great satisfaction, such as seeing a client with a brain injury go off to a theme park with his support workers for the first time.
I need to retain my nursing registration with the NMC (Nursing and Midwifery Council) and keep a portfolio of my training and reflection on clinical practice which can be called up for inspection. I was concerned that being a case manager I would not have enough ongoing experience but I have learnt so much and have something new to reflect on most days!”
Next, Lee Bartrop from JSP shares how his background as a paediatric nurse helps him with his career in case management.
“The reason a paediatric nurse background helps me with my Case Management is I have extensive experience in working with children with disabilities and their families so I can use this knowledge to try to understand what they are going through; the whole family dynamic is affected by the situation they find themselves in and having someone who understands this allows the family and child to feel supported. The challenges faced by the child and their family on a daily basis impacts on everything they do, as a Case Manager I have to support the family through a very difficult process over an extended period of time when quite often all they want is for it all to be done and life to get back to something resembling normality.”
Our last quote is from Chrissie Wild from Anglia Case Management, who has a wonderful take on her career as a nurse and following her childhood dreams.
“I don’t think I have moved from being a nurse to a case manager. I think I have moved closer to being the nurse I always wanted to be.
If you had asked me age 7; ‘what are you going to be when you grow up?’ I would have said ‘an Astronaut, Rally car driver or DJ’. The very last thing I would have said is ‘Nurse’. All the girls in my class wanted to be a nurse or a princess. I related to the story of Cinderella, and I wanted to be the fairy godmother. Working as ward orderly I found myself as a nurse and what a privilege it has been.
For me working as an ACM Case Manager is my fairy godmother dream come true; using all I have learnt as an NHS Nurse, Case Manager and Matron; supporting my clients unique life story, their difficult times, their most intimate, personal issues. Applying wisdom, kindness then seeing them thrive and achieve their goals, helping what might seem impossible become possible. Lucky me!”
We hope that this article and our case manager’s meaningful stories can enlighten everyone interested in becoming a healthcare professional that there are a multitude of pathways within the nursing sector that are attainable, as well as clear career progressions for each specialist area whether this may be neurological, psychological, respiratory or for many other complex conditions.
Once again, thank you and Happy International Nurse’s Day to you all!