13 May “Being a Bright Red Nurse makes me feel very proud…” – Sarah Blakey, The Freeman Hospital
Wednesday 12th May was International Nurses Day! Organised annually by the International Council of Nurses, International Nurses Day celebrates the contribution that nurses make to societies around the world! This week, to show our appreciation, we’ll be sharing interviews and stories of our wonderful Bright Red nurses posted around the North East.
Today we feature Sarah Blakey, based at the Northern Centre for Cancer Care at the Freeman Hospital, Newcastle.
Funded by Bright Red, Sarah works closely in the North East community visiting patients’ homes to enhance the care that the Haematology team provide. Sarah was working as a staff Nurse on the Haematology ward when she first became aware of Bright Red through the money invested in supporting Haematologists to do vita research and studies, as well as the difference made in buying equipment to be used for patients.
“I love my job as I work with a very dedicated and passionate team of Doctors, Nurses and Allied Health professionals who always strive to provide the best care to make patients feel well cared for and supported. I feel incredibly lucky to work with Catherine Cox as the other Leukaemia and Myeloma Nurse, she has taught me so much about how to be a key worker and advocate for patients; how to really support and educate them.”
Sarah’s role demands a need wherever her patients are in the region from their homes, to clinics, and to therapy day units, even a friendly voice at the end of the phone. No two days of work are the same for Sarah, her work demands the ability to change and overcome daily to support her patients in a way that is appropriate for them, which she finds truly rewarding.
“I get a lot of job satisfaction as I can follow my patients journey from diagnosis, throughout their treatment and beyond. I get to build up relationships and learn their priorities. I especially like helping patients to better understand their diagnosis and how to cope with it all or making it easier by visiting at home or referring them to other allied health professionals who can help them.
I love working as a Bright Red Nurse as it enables me to not just be based in the hospital. I see the value of going to patients houses to really get to know them and provide holistic care in a setting they are comfortable with. Being a Bright Red nurse makes me feel very proud as I know that the role makes a real difference to patient care.”
COVID proved to be an extremely frightening time for Sarah’s patients, and patients across the country most of whom were extremely vulnerable. Sarah continued to support and reassure them throughout the course of the pandemic despite being in the unknown herself.
“I was amazed and inspired by the ability to transform the services to adapt to an ever-changing situation and actually have found some of the changes such as telephone clinics worked very well; so we’re going to continue! I work with a great team of Nurse Specialists who were always willing to listed, or keep our spirits up, when we felt overwhelmed.”
Sarah’s commitment and passion to her role is incredible. She is a credit to her team, and to the representation of Bright Red. Whilst Sarah has always wanted to be a Nurse from a young age, we find it hard to imagine that she would have ever thought her role would have led to a sponsored skydive for the Bright Red Charity which she agrees is easily the craziest thing she’s ever done!
Bright Red would like to say a huge thank you to Sarah for her ongoing support and commitment to her role.