A DEDICATED staff nurse who is bringing to an end a staggering 45-year career in the NHS has said she has enjoyed every minute of her journey following her recent retirement.
Johanna Thomas, from Burbage in Leicestershire, started as an auxiliary nurse at the former Walsgrave Hospital in Wyken back in 1971 as a 17-year-old before starting her training the following year.
She went onto have a career based in surgery, where she worked at Leicester Royal Infirmary for ten years before returning to Coventry in 1990 as a staff nurse in day surgery.
She rose up the ranks to become a sister before becoming patient selection sister.
“The role was brand new at the time,” said Jo. “I would help prepare patients for theatre and find people suitable to be moved onto the surgery lists so that every bed was used in the Day Surgery Unit.”
After starting her latest role in Pre-operative Assessment in 2014, Jo has seen many changes throughout her career.
“Patients are now more aware of what to expect and can have a conversation with doctors and nurses more than they used to.
“Also the techniques have got so much better, for example a patient used to come in for a hernia and stay a couple of days, it is now done as a day case.”
Looking back on her 45-year career, Jo added: “I have worked with some fantastic people. You only get where you are from how you are taught and I have had some great people teach me.
“The staff I work with now are brilliant, I can ask them anything and they help me out.
“I have always had good banter with the patients. Even in day surgery you get regulars that you get to know quite well. I have always enjoyed day surgery as you get to meet more people. I’ve enjoyed all of it.”
Joe now has plans to use her retirement to travel with retired husband Dave, with holidays to Majorca and Tenerife booked for this year and a trip to Washington DC booked next year.
Chief Nursing Officer, Mark Radford said: “I would like to thank Jo for her fantastic dedication and commitment to helping patients in Coventry and Warwickshire for 45 years.”