Infection Prevention and Control Nurse Heather Lawson tells us about her rich and varied career on International Nurses Day
My name is Heather Lawson, I decided to become a Nurse following in the steps of my mum who initially trained as a nurse and started my nursing career in 1993 as a Carer at a local care home to learn the basics of the job while going to college to gain the necessary qualifications to get into university to do my training.
I very quickly in 1994 progressed to working at North Tyneside General Hospital as an Auxiliary nurse on Ward 4 and within theatres for a short time. I loved the fast-paced environment of Orthopaedics and the diversity of the patients on the ward as both trauma and electives were nursed together on the ward. A few years of working in this environment, I started my nurse training and continued to work on the ward alongside this building on my skills I was learning during my training. The Ward Sister was extremely supportive and encouraged me to succeed in my training and really inspired me to do well. This ethos of support has stayed with me throughout and I now like to think I offer that same support and encouragement to students and colleagues I deal with in my current role.
Over my 29 year career I worked in a variety of settings such as General Surgery, Orthopaedics, Endoscopy, NHS Direct and now Infection Prevention and Control. I love the diversity of nursing and helping the public at some of their most difficult times and making their life a little easier. It is an honour and privilege to be a nurse and more so since the pandemic when Infection Prevention and Control was at the forefront of the global pandemic, aiming to keep everyone both staff, patients and the wider community as safe as possible. This has been extremely challenging for us all however with good leadership and support from the team we have all risen to the challenge!
I have witnessed a lot of changes in nursing since I started however the support and camaraderie of colleagues, organisation and the joy of delivering safe high-quality care to patients doesn’t change.