IF proof was ever needed for the old saying that nursing is a vocation, not a job, it exists in the shape of three very special women.
Sylvia Clarke, Lynn Heald and Lynn Wilde have all spent more than 50 years as nurses. On October 12, they celebrated their milestone at Dukinfield Town Hall when they were entertained by the Civic Mayor of Tameside, Cllr Joyce Bowerman, and her Consort, Mr Fred Bowerman.
All three women trained in the 1960s and have had to adapt to advances in medical science, and changes in the NHS, that could scarcely have been imagined at that time.
Sylvia, who works at West End Medical Centre, Ashton, has held several posts, but perhaps most memorably she was once a nurse at Wall’s meat factory, Hyde. She says she dealt with so many injuries caused by the razor-sharp implements the employees used that it often felt like she was working in casualty.
Asked about the best part of her career, she replied: “I’ve enjoyed helping young people who have gone on to become nurses.”
Lynn Wilde, from the Medlock Vale Practice, Droylsden, started out at the old Ashton Infirmary and worked on many different wards including eight years in A&E.
In 1996 she achieved her master’s degree in clinical nursing and became a nurse practitioner.
She said: “It’s a really nice job. You get to know the patients. I nursed some of them when they were babies and now I see them with their babies.”
Lynn Heald, who is with Denton Medical Practice, began at Ashton Infirmary’s day-care centre and then worked in the operating theatre. She returned to college to qualify as a state registered nurse and spent 18 months on the gynaecology ward before becoming a practice. Nurse.
She commented: “The work’s varied. You work with patients on one-to-one basis.” When asked what the highlight of her career has been so far, Lynn said qualifying as an RGN.
Steve Pleasant, Tameside Council’s chief executive and accountable officer for Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “I can’t begin to guess how many people the three nurses must have helped over the last 50 years.
“We are all in their debt and I would like to thank them for everything they’ve done for the people of Tameside. It’s comforting to know that when the need arises, dedicated people like Sylvia and the two Lynns are there to help.”
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