Nursing: Ruth's story

12 May 2018 . United Kingdom

Ruth is a Clinical Nurse Manager at Bupa UK’s Cromwell Hospital. She’s been a nurse for 34 years and specialises in critical care. Her specialist skills include critical care nursing and improving healthcare practice. In her spare time she enjoys family time, DIY and reading, and is currently on the Florence Nightingale Foundation Nursing Scholarship.
International Nurses Day 2018 - Ruth

What drew you to nursing?

I’d initially wanted to go into the police force when I left school but in those days there were height regulations and sadly I didn’t hit the mark! After a rethink, and encouragement from a friend’s mother (who was a nurse), I decided to do my nurse training. It was hands down the best decision I’ve ever made. From my early days as a student nurse through to today I cannot think of anything else that I would rather be doing.

The second best decision for me was specialising in intensive care. Making a difference to patients and their families when they are faced with the strange and stressful situation of being in intensive care has been so rewarding.

Tell us more about the Florence Nightingale Scholarship…

Throughout my career I’ve made it a priority to keep myself up-to-date with training, and to develop and grow so that I can be the best nurse that I can be. And this year I’ve been very fortunate to take part in the Florence Nightingale Foundation Scholarship.

It will give me an amazing opportunity to access some interesting courses to enhance my leadership skills. I’m required to submit a quality improvement initiative and I’m hoping to create a clinical ethics committee at Bupa UK’s Cromwell Hospital – making the right ethical decisions for each and every patient is something that I value greatly.

Tell us about a day you’ll never forget…  

There are lots, but there was one particular night shift when we were the receiving hospital for the victims of the Soho bombing that I’ll never forget. Being part of a nursing team that selflessly gave everything they could to manage the challenge of multiple complex admissions - all the teamwork and the camaraderie, really hit home to me that being a nurse is something very special.

What are you most proud of in your current role?

Since being at Bupa UK’s Cromwell Hospital I’ve been fortunate enough to work alongside a great Adult Intensive Care Unit (AICU) team. The progress we’re making in developing the department to ensure we provide a safe and high quality service that strives for clinical excellence has been wonderful to be a part of.

It’s 34 years since I first stepped foot into the nursing world, and nursing today is very different in many ways from those times of starched white aprons, linen hats, long nightingale wards and standing to attention when matron came on her rounds! What has remained constant however is the ability to care, show compassion, and the feeling of pride I get when I say ‘I am a nurse’.