Practising and retired nurses reflected on their careers as a family-owned care home operator celebrated International Nurses Day.
Nursing staff at all 20 Colten Care homes in Hampshire, Dorset, Wiltshire and Sussex shared their thoughts with residents and visitors over homemade cakes baked specially for the occasion by the company’s chefs.
Each nurse also received an individual greeting card from their home manager.
At Amberwood House in Ferndown, Dorset, Activity Organiser Jan Burns dressed up as Florence Nightingale, the famous ‘Lady with the Lamp’ often cited as the founder of modern nursing.
Jan spoke with residents about how nursing has changed since the 19th century while nurses were presented with a fruit cake baked and decorated by Chef Lorna Parsons.
Among the residents at the presentation was Pamela Daymond, a former nurse and midwife.
Kent-born Pamela, who retired to Verwood, Dorset, after her career, said: “I remember my mother was initially against me going into nursing as she thought it was all about scrubbing floors. I quickly realised there was very much more to it than that. You have to be prepared to work hard and do long hours but you have the immense satisfaction of making people feel comfortable and reassured. That’s the best thing about it.”
Pamela’s thoughts were echoed by Amberwood nurse Natasha Greenwood, who added: “It’s about caring for people, not just physically but emotionally too. In a good quality care home like this, you have the chance to get to know people long-term. You feel you become part of the same family.”
Nurses’ Day is timed to coincide with the anniversary of Florence Nightingale’s birth on 12 May, 1820.
Elaine Farrer, Colten Care’s Operations Director, said: “It is a great opportunity to celebrate the huge positive difference nurses make to the lives of millions of people across the world. At Colten Care, we’re proud of our nurses and the care, commitment and compassion they show the residents in our care homes every single day.”
Colten Care employs RGNs (registered general nurses) and, at its dementia care homes, RMNs (registered mental nurses).
Since last year, Colten Care healthcare assistants have been able to train to become Senior Care Leads, a hybrid role that provides an additional career pathway for carers and frees up nurses for more supervisory roles.
Together, the team provide dedicated, round-the-clock clinical support to help with all conditions associated with the care of older people.
On behalf of each nurse it employs, Colten Care pays the annual registration fee required by the nursing regulator, the Nursing and Midwifery Council.