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Florence Nightingale Service – Emma’s experience

2022-06-10T14:18:24+01:00Friday 10 June 2022|

One of Walsall Healthcare’s nurses has enjoyed her own royal experience in the run up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Nursing Associate Emma Whitehouse recently attended the Florence Nightingale Service in Westminster Abbey.

This service is an occasion to commemorate the life of Florence Nightingale and is an invitation only event.

This year’s service was also to remember colleagues who lost their lives during the COVID-19 pandemic. It also recognised and celebrated every nurse and midwife who, despite the immense challenges that the pandemic has caused, is working incredibly hard, day in, day out, to provide the best levels of health and care to patients across the country and indeed the world.

The 28-year-old has worked for the NHS for 11 years. She started off as a Healthcare Assistant and in 2019 became a Ward 21 Nursing Associate.

Emma took part in a leadership course where she was one of 70 Nursing Associates to do the course and was also in the first group of nursing associates to qualify in England.

Because of this, she was asked to attend the Florence Nightingale service two years ago however due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its restrictions this was postponed to this year.

She attended the service on 11 May, a day before International Nurses’ Day.

She said: “It was very moving to have been invited. Going into Westminster Abbey; it was absolutely stunning, I felt like royalty.

“There were speeches from the programme lead, reverends and a named nurses. Also, a lamp – symbolic of Florence Nightingale – was taken from the Florence Nightingale Chapel during the service and escorted by a procession of nurses to the Dean who placed it on the High Altar. It was really moving and interesting.”

“As this also coincided with Nurses’ Day, I was reflecting on my own journey because when I was younger, I was treated at a children’s hospital with leukaemia. I started my career off as an apprentice then worked my way up to Healthcare Assistant and then to Nursing Associate. I feel like I was meant to be a nurse and am very proud to be one.”

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