Being a nurse makes me feel proud – International Nurses Day 2020

On this year’s International Nurses Day, our Lead Nurse for Primary Care Quality, Zara Head share a blog around what the day means to her and our local nursing family:

What does International Nurses day mean to me, particularly during 2020, the year of the Nurse and Midwife?

We had lots of ideas of how we would celebrate this special day, but none of those ideas included celebrating this without us being together.

2020 has thrown us some challenges so far and new ways of working have had to be introduced very quickly and have been embraced.

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way the whole system works and very few of us were specifically taught how to deal with a pandemic, although all of your skills are vital we are all learning in an ever changing world.

There has never been a time where our population’s health and wellbeing has been in such a spotlight. Our regional nurse awards have had to be postponed along with the General Practice Nurse Ambassador Programme, but the care and support you provide to patients continues regardless. We were really fortunate to share and celebrate the huge successes of our local primary care nurses in February this year which brought a tear to my eye for many different reasons.

Being a nurse has always made me proud. I have worked alongside incredible nurses over the last three decades, in a variety of roles, but as you may have noticed, my main love has been, and still is, General Practice Nursing.

I strongly believe in support and encouragement to help each other reach our potential. I have been mentored, taught and encouraged by many of you and I am inspired by so many more.

A story I often tell is when I was studying for my diabetes diploma in 2004, I couldn’t seem to get my head around cholesterol metabolism, no matter how hard I tried, until one nurse (they’ll know who they are if they read this) placed sheets of paper all over the floor and using the analogy of a factory, with lorries cars and motorbikes carrying boxes around and made it so easy to understand. This is why we share our learning, we all learn in different ways and I am very much a visual learner and she knew that.

I had a conversation with some colleagues this morning, about how we work together well because we balance each other with our differences. So to me, International Nurses Day is about celebrating and understanding these differences, supporting each other, listening to each other and keeping each other uplifted during these challenging days.

It is a time to say thank you, thank you for so many different things.

Thank you for the care you provide to patients with your expertise and professionalism, thank you for your knowledge and skills that never stop growing, thank you for your kindness to each other and everyone in the wider health and social care team and thank you for turning challenges into opportunities.

Happy International Nurses Day 2020,

Zara Head, Lead Nurse Primary Care Quality

Quality and Patient Safety at NHS Doncaster CCG