Quality improvement nurse Gill Goodwin, is celebrating over 30 years working at The Christie in Manchester after first being treated there as a patient in 1982.
Gill, 55 from Didsbury was first diagnosed with a tumour in her pituitary gland at the age of 20 when she was studying nursing at university in Leeds. After having surgery to remove the tumour cells, Gill was referred to The Christie for the remainder of her treatment as her family lived close by.
Gill said: “When I first came to The Christie it was like no hospital I’d ever encountered - the level of care surpassed anything I’d ever seen. Elsewhere I had seen a lot of hierarchy, but at The Christie it was much more a team approach.
One of the ward sisters went round to see every patient. She would sit with you, introduce herself and ask you how you were. The compassion and treating patients as an individual really struck a chord with me and it was then I decided I wanted to work there.
At the end of treatment, all of Gill’s tumour cells had successfully been removed and she only needed annual check-up appointments moving forward. She then returned to Leeds to complete her degree in nursing.
She added: “I had already decided that I wanted to work in cancer care, and in particular at The Christie when I graduated, so was thrilled when my application was a success.
International Nurses’ Day (May 13th) falls at the same time of year I first came to The Christie as a patient all those years ago, and I see it as an opportunity to celebrate what it means to be a Christie nurse. It means a lot to me.
Gill and her team will be running a ‘talking wall’ at The Christie on the day, inviting nurses to post ‘why I am proud to be a Christie nurse’ and other staff, visitors, patients etc. to post ‘why I am proud to support Christie nurses’ on the display. People will also be invited to post their comments via social media.
Jane Sykes, deputy director of nursing and quality at The Christie, said: “Gill’s experience epitomises what it is to be a Christie nurse and I’m thrilled that she has been a long standing member of our nursing team since she was first a patient.
We have various activities planned throughout the hospital for International Nurses’ Day, thanking our nurses for the amazing work they do. It’s a timely opportunity to show our appreciation for their hard work and the difference they make to all of our patients’ lives.