A graduate nurse who led a ward during the pandemic has finally celebrated her graduation in her dad’s memory.Advertisement
Clare Carroll began working as a staff nurse at Lancashire Teaching Hospitals in March 2020 and she embraced the challenges she faced in her new career, but the Covid-19 pandemic broke out a short while later.
The 39-year-old from Preston admitted that working as a qualified nurse during this time was ‘a very scary reality at the start.’
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She said: “The pandemic came along soon after I started my new job and nursing life changed rapidly.
“Visiting had been stopped, patients were very poorly and three months into qualifying I found myself taking charge of the ward due to staff sickness – something I never envisaged ever doing.
“The pandemic has been a very scary time to qualify but knowing that I have been able to play a very small part in a wider team to help the patients either get better or hold the hands of those at the end of their lives has enabled me to strengthen my nursing qualities.”
Clare found out her dad John had terminal cancer while she was studying at Edge Hill and she, with support from her husband Martin, became her dad’s main carer.
“Being able to finally attend my graduation ceremony means so much to me, it was an emotional day.
“My dad vowed from the day of his diagnosis that he could not pass away because he had his daughter’s graduation to go to.
“Unfortunately, while I was on placement in second year my dad took his last breath and sadly passed away – fortunately I had been to see him the day before and told him how much I loved him.”
This dedication has continued into her fledgling career and, in addition to her regular duties, she is also the Palliative Link nurse for her ward in cardiology; she has been assigned her own set of students to guide and she has signed up for mentorship and intermediate life support programmes.
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