Sarah Habergham, year 3 student learning disability nurse, was selected by Head of School Deborah Robinson to represent the School of Health and Social Work at the annual Florence Nightingale Commemoration Service in London on 9th May 2018. This was in recognition of her hard work designing the logo and crafting batons for Positive Choices (the annual UK and Ireland student learning disability nursing conference) in Hull 2017. Here she gives an outline of her day:
|Turkish lantern possibly carried by|
I enjoyed the train journey, watching people and guessing where they worked/what/who was taking them to London (what a luxury to be able to do that)! Arriving at Kings Cross I topped up my Oyster card and jumped on the tube. I crossed Westminster Bridge giving thought to the people who lost their lives there in March of last year. Looked at the Houses of Parliament, as it was a nice day, took the opportunity to walk along the south bank and enjoy the gardens at St Thomas'.
I made my way through the hospital to the hall where I was greeted by Professor Ian Peate OBE, chatted to him about learning disability nursing, my dissertation, the City of Culture. Saw some student nurses so naturally I got speaking to them. Coffee and pastries ... then we were put into groups around tables and had two hours to ask the panel questions around topics including the impact of the Nursing Associate role on Registered Nurses, parity of esteem, withdrawal of the NHS Bursary, how to recruit students on to undergraduate Programmes, the future of the NHS, percentage of male nurses. I anticipated I would have to 'shoe horn' learning disability nursing in at every given moment but I didn't need to! It was at the forefront as much as other fields which was so refreshing.
After a buffet lunch we went around the hospital looking at the Florence Nightingale statue, the chapel, went to the museum then tea arrived.
Westminster Abbey seemed unreal, there was a lot of security, we were informed a princess would be arriving. We went to see the nurses' chapel in the Abbey which is situated above so we could peer down and see from a different angle which was amazing. There were lots of nurses in their uniforms and military too. The service started with the choir - which resonated around the Abbey, it was really quite spectacular, a bit 'goose bumpy'. The whole of the service was awe inspiring, the stories told and the emphasis put on how important student nurses are was more than any compliment ever given.
The bells rang at the end of the service, the student nurses walked down the centre of the Abbey, with people either side smiling at us - I felt a bit famous! The whole day was amazing from start to finish, I felt I was part of a community, a community of nurses all speaking the same language, the language of kindness. I realised we are all nurses with different specialities, there's no such thing as a 'proper' nurse.