Ipswich Hospital nurse Esther Akintaju received the staff award from East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust after a patient, who was suffering from a blocked bowel, said they owed their life to Esther. RCN Suffolk branch praised Esther for this much valued recognition and now wants to help celebrate the work of other nurses across the county.
Esther explained how she became a nurse and the enjoyment she receives from the work she does. "Right from my teenage years I have cared for people – young, old, family and friends alike,” she said. “After high school I decided to proceed to a nursing school in Lagos, Nigeria, which is my country of origin, from 1986 and qualified as a registered nurse in 1989. I furthered in my nursing career and qualified as a midwife in 1992.”
Esther said nursing was a calling for her and she enjoyed her work. “I’m giving holistic care to patients, acting as a pillar of support physically, emotionally, mentally, and looking after their wellbeing,” she said. “Trying to meet the demands within the emergency department and bearing in mind the breach time target is always a difficult task but working with the unique multidisciplinary team within the department inspires me to give my best. This way daily challenges are overcome, and I am encouraged to do more.
“I will encourage everyone currently in the profession or planning to be, to strive to be the very best at all times.”
Xylina Hogan, vice chair of RCN Suffolk branch, said: “Members like Esther demonstrate the enormous skill and expertise we have within the nursing profession.
“Every day, nursing staff are saving lives, providing excellent care and going above and beyond for their patients. As a branch, we would like to celebrate our members’ achievements so please get in touch if you want to celebrate the work of a colleague or a team. We’d love to hear from you.”
Xylina said celebrating nursing achievements also helped highlight the importance of the #FairPayForNursing campaign to help recruit and retain the staff needed to provide excellent care.
“We know that many members of the nursing team have either left the profession or are considering leaving for higher paid jobs elsewhere,” she said. “Fair pay is essential if we are to retain the staff needed to provide safe and effective care for patients.”
To get involved in campaigning on issues such as pay and safe staffing, please visit the website. If you have a story of nursing achievement you’d like to share, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.