“Tracey is a senior staff nurse in our haematology and oncology centre and an active fundraiser for Above & Beyond. Tracey has raised an amazing £9,500 by taking part in various challenges including skydiving, cycling and abseiling. Tracey is a ward ambassador, volunteers for the charity and has been in several publications to help raise the profile of the charity.
Tracey’s support is hugely valued by everyone…Tracey is always enthusiastic and her drive and determination have helped fundraise for some vital projects. Tracey is passionate about providing the very best care available to her patients and has supported our charity in their vision to ensure patient care is the very best it can be.”
How did you feel when you found out you had been nominated?
I was thrilled. I feel that everything I do is just part of my job so to be recognised for it like this is very touching.
For me it all fits together – fundraising for the trust and unit that has supported me and my family throughout my career and life. I have family and friends who have been affected by cancer so it’s just my way of giving back.
Tell us about why you have been nominated
I was nominated for being an active fundraiser supporting Above & Beyond since 2010.
I’ve skydived, taken part in 10km runs, taken part in an urban challenge which involved abseiling and doing various challenges around the Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre. I have also completed various cycle rides, riding from Bristol to Paris, and I have recently completed a cycle from London to Amsterdam, and I absolutely loved it. Other activities include recycling scrap metal to convert into cash, and lots and lots of baking and cake sales. I like to involve my friends, family and neighbours as much as possible who are all so supportive.
Tell us a bit more about your NHS career and experience.
I started as a nursing assistant at Stoke Park Hospital in Bristol. I had observed enrolled nurses in the hospital and thought it was something I would like to do, so I started nurse training in 1989. I took a diploma and converted to registered nurse, then took a Masters in Leadership & Management in Health & Social Care.
I was at Winford Hospital for two years, Bristol Royal infirmary for eight years, and have spent the last 20 years at Bristol Haematology & Oncology Centre.
What or who inspired you to become a nurse?
I always wanted to do something in care, and took a social care course at college. I was exposed to all sorts of areas there including nursing. Whilst working on a placement as a nursing assistant, the nursing officer suggested it was something I try, so I started in general nursing first to get exposure to different areas.
Who have been your role models in the nursing profession throughout your career?
The nursing officer who I originally worked with. He must have seen something in me, and he had good leadership skills I could learn from.
In my first job as an enrolled nurse in Winford Hospital the senior staff nurse on the rehabilitation ward was very compassionate and supported me a lot.
What is the most valuable piece of advice you have received about nursing?
Put the patient and relatives at the heart of what you are doing, just remember it could be you and your family. Be yourself – and remember that first impressions last.
Nurses do outstanding things every day – what is the most rewarding part of being a nurse and what do you think makes an outstanding healthcare professional?
Caring for someone in a life-threatening situation is a real privilege. I want to make the patient’s journey the best it can be and can make a difference just by doing small things – being there, and being myself. Humour helps because it can be a long, difficult journey, and making an effort to remember personal details is important too – their children’s names for example.
How have you made a difference? What has been the impact of your work on others?
I like to give more than 100% and have high expectations and standards. I don’t feel like I am any different with the patients than I am at home – it’s the small things that count, if you give a lot then you get a lot back.
I love to meet people I wouldn’t normally come across, from youngsters with family all around them, to the elderly who may be more isolated.
I am also now involved in clinical education as well as working on the ward, and enjoy passing on my experience to others.
What is the most challenging part of being a nurse?
Inevitably it is an emotional job. When people have to come back for treatment because the disease has returned it can be very tough.
You also need to make sure you look after yourself, or you won’t be able to take care of your patients properly.
What does the NHS mean to you?
I love working for the NHS, I have been with the NHS all my working life. It cares for everyone, and doesn’t judge anyone based on culture or money. There are no boundaries.
As an organisation my trust treats everyone with respect and there is a huge team effort to bring people together. Trust values are strong, the NHS does implement change and recognise success.
Which charity or initiative would you like to support if you won?
Above & Beyond, is a charity fundraising for Bristol city centre hospitals within the University Hospitals Bristol NHS Foundation Trust
Why does Above & Beyond need the funds – what impact do they have on the local community?
They do a lot: they transformed the Bristol Royal Infirmary and Bristol Haematology and Oncology Centre with a new patient environment; created the first adult Bone Marrow Transplant (BMT) unit in the South West; refurbished the emergency department); helped with mobile scanners; staff training; research.
How did you become involved with the charity and why is it so important to you?
I have a personal connection to Above & Beyond through family and people I know, and having worked at the oncology centre for 20 years it’s a big part of my life.