12/05/2023 | Press releases

Celebrating International Nurses Day 2023

Nurses from around the world are today (12 May) joining forces to celebrate International Nurses Day and the difference they make to patients every single day.

To mark the event, two ESNEFT nurses have explained what attracted them to nursing and what they enjoy so much about the job.

“Working in healthcare is a noble job”

When Ivan Ayson lost a friend and fellow nurse in his native Philippines during the COVID-19 pandemic, he admits that he considered quitting his job and returning home.

But he soon changed his mind after thinking about his patients – and recognising the enormous difference which he and his fellow nurses make to them every single day.

Ivan joined East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) in 2018, and initially worked within trauma and orthopaedics at Ipswich Hospital before moving to critical care.

And although his team came under huge pressure during COVID-19, Ivan (pictured below) remains immensely proud of the way they pulled together for the benefit of their gravely-ill patients.

“I am really proud of our critical care team,” said Ivan, who worked for a pharmaceutical company before becoming a nurse. “Despite facing lots of uncertainties, we managed during multiple waves of COVID-19 and were able to provide the best care at a very difficult time.

“During the first wave, I almost quit my job when my friend, who was also a nurse, died in the Philippines. But I asked myself who would look after my dying patients if I quit? At that point I realised that working in healthcare is a noble job which makes a difference and helps to shape humanity.

“I really enjoy working in critical care – it provides real job satisfaction as it has an impact on someone’s life. We are the patient’s advocate and always provide holistic care in their best interests. We also work closely as a team with the consultants, doctors, pharmacists and allied healthcare professionals so that we can deliver the utmost care for critically ill patients. This teamwork is one of the things I am most proud of.”

Ivan said he had received great support since joining ESNEFT, and is now keen to help other international nurses to settle when they move to the UK from their home countries.

“I came to Ipswich because ESNEFT provides job security and educational support with the OSCE exam, which overseas nurses must take to register in the UK,” he added.

“Over the next few years, I would like to further enhance the support which international nurses are given to help them adapt to a new healthcare setting and life in a new country.”

“I love being able to make a difference”

Dee Onyenze enjoyed training at East Suffolk and North Essex NHS Foundation Trust (ESNEFT) so much that she jumped at the chance to return to Colchester Hospital as an emergency department (ED) nurse in 2015.

She hasn’t looked back since – and has thrived on the opportunity to deliver life-saving care to critically-unwell patients.

And although Dee (pictured below) has enjoyed many proud moments during her career, the honour which stands out the most is becoming the first black matron at Colchester Hospital.

She is now sharing her story to help celebrate International Nurses’ Day, which takes place on 12 May.

“I decided to go into nursing after watching my sister nurse my grandmother,” said Dee, who now works in site operations. “I’ve always had the zeal to help and care for others so it seemed like the right job for me.

“I trained in Colchester as a student nurse and absolutely loved my time at the hospital. I then gained two years’ experience at Basildon Hospital, but was keen to come back. When I did return it felt like I had never left, and I received a very warm welcome from colleagues.

“What I enjoy the most about ED is the fact that you don’t know what will come through the door from one minute to the next – it’s so spontaneous. The training I received was also amazing and it’s a real honour to deliver life-saving treatment to critically unwell patients and watching them get better, or being there to hold their hand in the final moments of life.

“I love being able to make a difference and supporting staff through difficult times. The thing I am most proud about is being the first black matron in our hospital.

“I really enjoy my job and am learning a lot at the moment. I don’t know what the future holds and whether it will be operational or clinical, but I do know that I’ll follow God’s plan for me when the time comes.”

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