Sefton nurse celebrates 50 ‘rewarding’ years of work in the NHS
3 months ago
Pauline Dwyer, practice nurse at Park Street Surgery in Bootle, is celebrating 50 years of nursing in the NHS and encouraging others to consider a career in health and care.
Pauline joined the NHS in 1972, starting work at Walton Hospital at the age of 18. She spent the first 20 years of her career working in local trusts in A&E departments, fracture clinics, with the elderly and on psychiatric wards.
She then decided to train as a practice nurse and has never looked back.
Pauline said: “My dad worked as a nurse in the Royal Navy during the war and then afterwards as an auxiliary nurse looking after cancer patients, which he loved. He used to bring sisters off the wards home to socialise with our family and that inspired me to take up the career.
“After working on nights on the wards for a long time, I decided to go in to practice nursing because it’s about educating people about different aspects of their health and improving public health to prevent people from getting so unwell.
“We do baby immunisations, cytology, routine screening, trying to find diabetes earlier, monitoring cholesterol and much more. Everything is being managed earlier to help prevent a long-term problem – that’s what I enjoy. My dad died of a heart attack at age 71 and I think if he had that type of care he may have lived longer.”
Pauline has worked at Park Street Surgery for 18 years and says she isn’t ready to retire yet.
She said: “It is a challenging job day to day but it’s very rewarding. You feel that you make an impact. When a mum comes in for their baby’s immunisation and they’re very apprehensive, if you don’t do it right the first time, they won’t come back again. I feel proud when they come back for the second and third one.”
Reflecting on what has changed in the NHS over the last 50 years, Pauline talked about the range of roles and skills of people who work in general practice now.
“We have a very mixed skill team. We have two advanced nurse practitioners, we have a receptionist who is also our phlebotomist and is training to be a nurse. It’s all about teamwork. If you’ve got a good team with you, you can achieve anything.”
Pauline hopes to inspire people considering taking up nursing as a career.
She said: “It’s a job with so many avenues. You have so many options for what to specialise in until you find your niche, what makes you motivated, what you enjoy and are good at.
“Communication is a big aspect of the job. It’s all about building relationships and talking to people on their level. You get to know people in the community and I like to have a sense of humour with people.
“It’s character building, it’s made me stronger mentally. I am happy here and I don’t want to retire yet!”
To congratulate Pauline on this achievement and thank her for her courage, compassion and dedication over her 50 years in the NHS, she was presented with a letter from Graham Urwin, chief executive officer of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside, Raj Jain, chair of NHS Cheshire and Merseyside and Deborah Butcher, director of place for Sefton, NHS Cheshire and Merseyside.