International Nurses' Day

Wednesday 09 May 2018

Saturday 12th May marks the historic birth of perhaps the world’s most famous nurse in history, Florence Nightingale. Also known as ‘The Lady with the Lamp’ Nightingale came to prominence during the Crimean War whilst taking care of wounded soldiers at night. Nightingale went on to reform healthcare in British society by establishing a nursing school in London and became the founder of modern nursing.

Since 1965, International Nurses’ Day has been celebrated on the 12th of May each year in honour of her work and to celebrate professional nurses across the world. This year, Ark Boulton will be marking the occasion for our very own school nurse, Mrs Haslem.

We were curious to know more about why Mrs Haslem chose to become a nurse and why she finds it so rewarding.

How did you find your calling as a nurse?

I began working in domestic care and worked in many different environments in and around care as a support worker. It wasn’t until I worked with the Marie Curie Trust that I realised how nurses can make such a difference to patients’ lives and their families. The teamwork I saw between the nurses and doctors was paramount to the care and support received by the patients. I saw just how vital the role of a nurse is in the medical field.

What and where did you study to become a nurse?

I went to Solihull College to study an ‘Access to Nursing’ qualification. I then went on to the University of Wolverhampton to study Dip HE in Adult Nursing, which also qualified me to work with young people.

Describe a typical day at Ark Boulton

On a daily basis I support students with medical conditions and help them to understand it better. I help provide medical assistance to those who need it and I’m often the first point of call for any medical emergencies, alongside our team of first aiders.

Physical and mental well-being is very important to any individual’s health, and so working closely with the pastoral team and the community nurse is another part of my role to ensure our students are living a healthy lifestyle.

Do you have a funny, surprising or fascinating nursing memory?

Working as a Community Nurse, I realised how many people have pet cats. I’m not a fan of cats and many house visits have involved the awkward encounter with a furry animal of some kind! This was something I had to overcome in order to care for my patients. Ask me about my cat encounters next time you see me!

What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse?

All my encounters with my patients are memorable and I appreciate being able to meet so many different people from different backgrounds. Making them smile at the end of their journey, from the minute I meet them and through to the end of treatment, makes it all worthwhile.

Sum up your role in one sentence…

Who else can go home and say that they saved a life today – it’s the best feeling in the world.

Favourite past times?

I spend a lot of my spare time with my friends, family and my four children. One of my daughters is part of the Birmingham City Netball Team and so joining her at practice and team fixtures is always fun. She has an exciting future ahead of her.

I’m a huge football fan and regularly go to see Birmingham City FC play at St Andrews.

I’m constantly learning more about my field because it’s always evolving and the finds are fascinating. It’s important to keep up to date with new treatments, medicine and practice.

Any words of wisdom for someone who may be thinking of becoming a nurse in the future?

Despite what you hear in the press about nursing, the profession is very rewarding. The hours may be long, however the team support is amazing. The role is constantly developing and you never stop learning! There are many opportunities to grow and expand in the field.

Nursing allows you to explore so many different areas. All areas of the world and sectors need health care professionals, including schools. Working at Ark Boulton Academy has been a great experience for me and I have gained a new support system within the Boulton Family.