Nurses working for the region’s mental health trust tell of their love for the profession

From left to right, Dr Jane Sayer, Howard Muzire, Michelle Allott, and Dawn Collins. Photos: NSFT

From left to right, Dr Jane Sayer, Howard Muzire, Michelle Allott, and Dawn Collins. Photos: NSFT - Credit: NSFT

The region's mental health trust is celebrated the work of its 1,168 registered nurses who it says go the extra mile for patients and carers.

For International Nurse's Day toady (May 12) Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) highlighted the commitment and dedication of its staff, while also encouraging the public to show their support for all nurses on social media by using the hashtag #nurseheroes.

International Nurses Day is held annually to mark the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth. It gives the NHS, patients and the public the chance to thank nurses and midwives while promoting the important role they play in health and social care.

NSFT's nursing team is headed by Dr Jane Sayer, director of nursing, quality and patient safety. She said: 'I am still extremely proud of being a nurse – it runs right through me and leads everything I do. It's vital to ensure that our nurses are proud of what they do and of who they are. There's nothing wrong with wearing your nursing status as a real badge of honour – you certainly work hard enough to achieve it, and you work hard every day of your career to live up to it.

'I would like to say a huge thank you for the work our nurses do day-in, day-out. It's extraordinary how much of a difference they make to people using our services.'

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Deputy director of nursing, Dawn Collins, heads up the trust's nursing development programme and has been a nurse for more than 30 years.

She said: 'I've always remained passionate about nursing. It's a very privileged position to hold as you enter people's lives, often at some very low points, and they welcome you in. It's the best profession in the whole world and I love it more each day.

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'It's good to take the time to recognise the commitment of nurses and promote the value of a career in nursing as one of the most rewarding you can have. During my time in nursing there have been lots of exciting times and opportunities as well as challenges. Who'd want to do anything else?'

Michele Allott, deputy director of nursing and patient safety, added: 'I knew I always wanted to work with people, having looked at other roles I knew that mental health care and the philosophy of how we offer care I knew it was the right match for me. My current role still provides me with the opportunity to make sure that we support great care by making sure that compassion and safety are at the heart of what we do.

'I don't think I've ever regretted it. Being a nurse is simply the way you are and I remain as dedicated to good nursing in mental health today as the day I made that decision.'

Howard Muzire, a charge nurse working on Thorpe Ward, at the Norvic Clinic, near Norwich, had a different route into nursing after originally studying mechanical engineering. But he said: 'Nursing is really rewarding. I enjoy interacting with patients, while part of my role is to ensure high standards of care and to have awareness of exactly what is happening with all the patients on my ward.

'I love my job. It's perfect for me as it combines both management and direct patient contact, which I really enjoy.

'I studied mechanical engineering back in Zimbabwe before moving to England in 2002. I did some work caring for vulnerable people and realised I would be more useful as a nurse than an engineer. I also realised I'd get great job satisfaction by seeing people getting better.

'I very much enjoy my job and would recommend a career in nursing to anyone.'

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