Celebrating nursing superheroes at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn

Julie Theobald at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Victoria Fear

Julie Theobald at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Victoria Fear - Credit: Archant

Nursing superheroes at a Norfolk hospital are being celebrated this week.

John and Anne Wagner at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Victoria Fear

John and Anne Wagner at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Victoria Fear - Credit: Archant

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital is applauding its hardworking and compassionate staff on Nurses' Day today.

Nurses' Day is held on May 12 to commemorate the birthday of nursing icon Florence Nightingale.

Among the QEH's modern-day heroes is Julie Theobald, who fulfilled her childhood dream in 2006 when she qualified to become a nurse after years of study alongside juggling a job and family.

Now she is an anticoagulation and thrombosis nurse specialist.

Liz Heighton at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Victoria Fear

Liz Heighton at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King's Lynn. Picture: Victoria Fear - Credit: Archant


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She said: 'The most enjoyable thing about nursing is being able to make people better or supporting those we cannot cure. I like the scientific side of nursing but the reason I love my job is the patients.'

She started off as a mature student on an NVQ in health and social care worked in a psychiatric nursing home. After eight years, she followed her dreams and applied to join a registered nursing course. She trained at the QEH and qualified in 2006.

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She said: 'It was hard work balancing my family life with clinical placements and assignment writing but my husband Pete was fantastic. When I qualified, it was a dream come true.'

A training course led to more than just a fulfilling career for Essex native John Wagner, who met his wife Anne while working at the North Cambridgeshire Hospital.

Clinical educator for A&E John and Anne, a nursing auxiliary on West Newton, tied the knot in 1983 and went onto raise three children while still working demanding shifts.

'One of the best things about being a nurse is seeing people get better after they have arrived acutely unwell and they have responded to your treatment. Once we were stopped in the street by the relative of a patient who said thank you. That was a real boost and makes you realise that you are doing a good job.'

Mrs Wagner has worked nights for nearly 30 years after returning to work from a break to have her family. She said: 'I enjoy working nights and it fitted in with bringing up our children. I now look after my grandchildren. I enjoy working with the team on West Newton.'

As a teenager, Liz Heighton dreamed of becoming an artist but fate intervened and she became a nurse. She is now an advanced nurse practitioner in pain management.

'I think I evolved into a nurse and it is very rare that I'm not glad to be coming to work,' she said. 'I love the people and the patients. I just love the job.'

Starting off as enrolled nurse at North Cambridgeshire Hospital, she worked hard to gain the necessary qualifications, while bringing up a family, to enrol and complete her registered nursing conversion course in 1989.

She transferred to the QEH at the same and ended up working in Theatres. She said: 'I loved the team work and the one-to-one nursing in Theatres along with the unpredictable nature of it.

'I would recommend nursing as a career as there are opportunities to progress and be challenged plus there are so many branches you can go into. But most importantly there is a lot of job satisfaction.'

Staff at the hospital have put together a host of activities to celebrate Nurses' Day including a bake-off and coffee morning.

Director of nursing Emma Hardwick said: 'The QEH is lucky to have such a dedicated nursing team so it is important that we take opportunities such as Nurses' Day to say thank you for their efforts and hard work.

'Nursing is a very fulfilling career with opportunities to progress and develop while still continuing to make a difference to someone's life.

'The Hospital is currently recruiting registered nurses and we would encourage others to come and join Team QEH.'

If you are a registered nurse and would like more information on joining the hospital call 01553 613789.

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