Diane Waddington, from Avon Valley community care team has won the Bank Nurses Award at the 2014 Nurse Awards organised by the Royal College of Nursing Journal, the Nursing Standard. Diane was nominated by the area’s community matron, Vicky Melville, for the consistent level of high performance she displays in all of her work. Diane is extremely humble, very driven, and understands the importance of her role and the positive attitude she maintains.
We spoke to Diane ahead of the award’s night to find out about her role and her nomination.
Hi Diane, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do?
I am a semi-retired bank nurse working part time at Avon Valley Community Care team through NHS Professionals. I used to work full-time as a district nurse and a community practice teacher for about 20 years. Avon Valley is a community care centre on the edge of the New Forrest. It is quite isolated and a lot of the work we do is cross border, moving into Dorset and Wiltshire. Local knowledge of the area is often required to make our service as efficient as possible. I joined Avon Valley one year ago when they were having trouble with staff retention, procurement and standards of care. It is my job to ensure all staff receive adequate training and have someone to talk about their problems with. I train band 3 and 4 nurses, and act as a mentor to nurses who have received full training but are new to a particular job.
How do you feel to be a finalist in this award?
I was shocked even to be nominated. Of course I am grateful and this has been a wonderful experience, but I think there are many nurses out there who deserve more recognition for the work they do. The NHS is currently hugely reliant on nurses and other healthcare professionals going well beyond what is expected of them and their normal working hours. I used to be told my time management was bad because I worked over my paid hours, but I don’t see myself as different to other nurses across the country.
My job has been made far easier by the staff I’m surrounded with. They are all gems. I am pleased to receive this award as recognition for the work we all do. I love all aspects of what I do and don’t mind coming in at weekends and working overtime. This helps me to deal with the negative aspects of my job in as positive a way as possible, which then reflects onto my team members.
I was nominated for this award by the area community matron, Vicky Melville. Vicky has said lots of nice things about me but she deserves a huge amount of praise herself. I wouldn’t be able to do the job I do without the faith she has shown in me, and the drive and determination she displays to get projects up and running. Her can-do attitude is quite incredible and rubs off on all the staff she works with.
What is the biggest challenge you face in your work?
The biggest challenge I face is ensuring that morale is always high in what are often difficult circumstances. I make sure little niggles are nipped in the bud, and oversee clinical supervision using a solution focus model to work through problems in a group and creating remedies for these problems that are faced by individuals and the team as a whole. I also do some of this work in conjunction with a local hospital to offer help to their staff where I can.
What gives you greatest satisfaction in your work?
I often mentor nurses who are straight out of their training course. I get huge satisfaction from helping them develop and working closely with them as they progress in their careers. I currently support one nurse as she works in the community. Knowing that I can use my experience and knowledge to improve her enjoyment of her work, while also improving patient care, really makes my job worthwhile. While I would say my main focus and passion is for developing others, I do enjoy all the aspects of my job, even doing the washing up!
Why did you decide to become a Bank nurse?
I used to work full-time but as my husband took retirement and worked three days a week, we weren’t having any days off together. It was really about gaining the work-life balance that being a Bank nurse allows. It gives me real flexibility in many aspects of my life and I work as many hours as I want really. Being a Bank nurse also allows me to work in a variety of different places and to supervise different sessions or work with a new group of people. This variety helps to keep things fresh and keeps me aware of the different possibilities and opportunities available.
NHS Professionals is extremely proud to sponsor The Bank Nurses Award at this year’s Nursing Standard Awards. The award recognises and celebrates the valuable contribution that bank nurses make to nursing teams at Trusts and wards across the NHS.