A big ngā mihi to our Bupa nurses for all that you do
International Nurses Day is celebrated around the world every May 12, the anniversary of Florence Nightingale's birth.
Here at Bupa, nurses and the wider teams are the lifeblood of our care homes and villages, and we thank you for your dedication.
No one epitomises more the professionalism and care shown by our nursing workforce then Pam Robert, here’s her story.
For Pam Roberts a career in nursing has been challenging, rewarding, exhausting and life changing – but after 40 years in the profession, she hasn’t lost her passion for caring for others.
At 66-years-old, Pam could retire, but as Unit Coordinator at Bupa Cashmere View Care Home, in Christchurch, she’s not quite ready to give up the job she loves.
“I love being able to make a difference each day in the lives of other people, and that comradery working with very likeminded people within the profession,” she says.
Pam joined Bupa in 1999. Prior to this she worked at Christchurch, Nelson, Westland and Southern Cross Hospitals, and ran a Health Clinic at a local High School.
Initially starting one day a week as a Registered Nurse at Bupa Cashmere View, it wasn’t long before Pam was helping set up the care home’s two Psychogeriatric Units and moving into the full-time role of Unit Coordinator.
In this role she gives clinical support to people with advanced brain disease, who are in the late stages of their illness, and to the team that she works with.
“Everybody’s brain disease, and progression of that, is really unique and different to them. So, the role of myself and the team is to ensure that every one of those people has the best plan of care around them so that right up until the end, they can maintain a quality of life. A big part of that is also helping support the families through that journey as well,” she says.
While a lot has changed since Pam trained as a nurse at the age of 17 in the 1970s, one thing hasn’t – the essence of nursing.
“Over the 40 plus years, I haven’t seen that change at all – the nurses’ role is still to give the best quality care and to continuously seek the best outcomes for their patients. While the way we train nurses may have changed, what we train nurses for hasn’t,” she says.
When Pam looks back over her career, she is proud to have been able to provide care, compassion and education to patients, their families, and her colleagues.
“I’ve worked with thousands of patients and colleagues over the years, and I think I grew and developed in my nursing career, but at the same time I can look back and see how my nursing career grew and developed me as an individual,” she says.
“I’ve learnt not to judge anybody and that everybody has a story and a history that shapes them and makes them uniquely who they are. I think that is a remarkable thing to gain from a job that you love.”
Her love for the job also extends to a love for Bupa Cashmere View, having chosen to remain working at the care home for over 20 years.
“I love Bupa Cashmere View as employees have been here for many, many years, so we’ve been able to develop and grow teams who are very committed,” she says.
“There’s also never been a reason why I would leave, because anything I have wanted to achieve in terms of training or leadership, I’ve been able to achieve here.”
For anyone contemplating a career in nursing, Pam says, “It’s rewarding, it’s exhausting and it’s life changing. Only another nurse can really understand what it is to be a nurse and the joys, frustrations and complexities of the job – but I love it, so go for it”.