In celebration of International Nurses Day on the 12th May, we had a chat with one of our most popular and experienced team members, Marie-Therese Ward RN Adult/DipHE/BSc (Nursing) ENP INP – better known to her patients as Tee.
You’ve been a registered nurse for almost 20 years, how did it all start?
I wanted to do something within medicine from a young age. I took my degree in nursing, which is three years of study, and then continued to study as a post graduate.
One of your specialties at Melior Clinics is anti-wrinkle injections – is it true that trainee nurses practice their injections on oranges?!
Yes! Within the college setting we were able to practice on oranges and pigs’ trotters, none of which quite prepare you for an actual human! During clinical placements and under supervision of a mentor we were able to inject patients.
When you finished your studies what was your first nursing job?
Initially I worked on a colorectal ward, dealing with bowel surgery, patients with stomas, etc, before I finally settle in Accident and Emergency where I stayed for eight years.
When working in A&E you must have had a lot of difficult days. How did you manage the stress?
There is a family ethos in A&E, lots of goodwill within the team and so you support each other, talk to each other and debrief each other. So when you leave work, you leave work behind and do not carry it home.
What was the best thing about working in such a high pressure environment?
I enjoyed the fast pace, particularly in A&E, the varied conditions and the individuals that utilised the service. You never knew what was going to come through your doors, and that is what I enjoyed, no monotony.
Working in nursing, particularly within such a close team, must have lead to some ‘memorable’ experiences!
Yes, there are certainly a few, and some are inappropriate to share outside of nursing colleagues! I did once turn up to work in A&E a whole hour early, having forgotten about the clocks going back – my lovely colleagues provided me with a trolley to rest on for that hour!
Why did you decide to move from the NHS into the private sector?
Burn out is real, and I felt burnt out.
What is the most fulfilling aspect of your work at Melior Clinics?
I enjoy making a difference to individuals, increasing their self-esteem and confidence, making them feel like themselves again, whether they have come for medical neurotoxin or to address premature signs of aging.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about a career in nursing?
It’s utterly worthwhile, it’s not just a career, it’s a profession. To be that nurse, who demonstrates compassion and makes a difference to patient care is the best feeling. You are a voice for your patient, an advocate, plus you can take that qualification with you anywhere.
What life lessons has nursing taught you?
The lessons I’ve learnt are universal I’d say: Life is short, enjoy it, but be responsible, no one is guaranteed tomorrow. Life can be unfair and bad things happen to good people.
Take care of yourself first so you are better placed to care for others. Remember that good support from family and friends is important to help us deal with tragedy. Lots of people like to complain but many are unwilling to actually do anything to change.
And make memories – they are great to reflect on during a long wait in A&E!
Having now worked in the aesthetics field for ten years Tee is an expert in all aspects of skincare treatments.
I would like to tell you how extremely happy I am with the service provided by Tee, she is extremely skilled and has given me the exact look I desired. A true professional and I will ensure to recommend the clinic to all my friends and family.SB, London
As well as delivering excellent care to our patients, she’s also an integral part of developing our services to ensure that we always have the best range of treatments available.