“It’s a great honour and privilege…” – Heather Lee, The Friarage Hospital

“It’s a great honour and privilege…” – Heather Lee, The Friarage Hospital

Wednesday 12th May is 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 Heather Lee, Assistant Practitioner in the Haematology Outpatient Department at The Friarage Hospital, South Tees. 

Heather’s unique role, funded by Bright Red Charity, was developed following a need for further support within the wonderful Clinical Nurse Specialist Haematology team at The Friarage Hospital.

Heather provides valuable support to Clinical Specialist Nurses in enabling the delivery of the best, and most appropriate, care for all patients. Heather works with an amazing team at the hospital she says are like her family. Working within the community she supports in everything from reviewing patients to offering holistic wellbeing and support for complex needs; her days are often challenging and busy. 

“I love working closely with the patients in the community, to spend time developing a rapport and relationship with them in their home environments and being part of their journey from diagnosis to the end; whether that be cure or palliation. I feel it’s a great honour and privilege to be able to do this. I am in a unique position that I am able to promote the amazing work that Bright Red Charity provides throughout the North East.”

COVID has proved a great barrier to the stereotypical workday and duties of Nurses across the world. Heather has continued to work out in the community throughout the pandemic though elements of her day-to-day have changed. For most patients, the pandemic brought the need to shield and saw nurses adapting operations to keep patients safe and out of hospital settings.

“We cover such a large geographical area that our small team has found it very challenging at times, we have had to continuously adapt to be able to deliver the care and necessary services that the patients require. We can see light at the end of the tunnel now and things are starting to return to a more manageable level.”

In times of uncertainty and change we rely on those around us. Heather finds inspiration in her friends and family on a daily basis.

“I have a wonderful family and remarkable friends around me, people I have met and stayed friends with from school and those I have met through my working life, they have helped me through some dark and challenging times despite going through difficulties of their own and celebrated with me in the good times. They have shown me the kind of love and friendship that exists through respect and shared admiration. I am also inspired by music. Great songs move people and create lasting memories, the creativity and talent it takes to be able to do this is wonderful.”

The resilience that Heather, and professionals across the NHS, have shown continuously within their posts, and throughout the pandemic, is a testament to the hard work, and exceptional service our nurses provide throughout the North East region and further afield. 

Bright Red would like to say a huge thank you to Heather for her ongoing support and commitment to her role at The Friarage Hospital.

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