She may be a Brummie at heart but she found such a warm Walsall welcome when she started her NHS career 40 years ago that Marcia Gardner has stayed at the Manor Hospital ever since.
Marcia, who works in Patient Flow, focused on elderly care when she joined Walsall Healthcare NHS Trust back in 1982 and the Manor was the General Hospital.
“I started on the South Wing as it was then before moving to Ward 2 where I stayed in elderly care before deciding that I wanted to do more general acute nursing,” explained Marcia, who retired from her role today (Friday).
“I moved over into the hospital’s new West Wing for a number of years before joining the Cardiac Rehabilitation Team working in the Cath Lab (Cardiac Catheterisation lab – a specialised area for tests and procedures to diagnose and treat cardiovascular disease). I have always enjoyed working in the Medicine Division the most.
“It was quite by accident that I ended up in the role I’m in now in Patient Flow. When I had finished working with the Cardiac Team I moved to the Bed Bureau looking into delayed discharges – and that was going back 17 or 18 years ago. I’ve been here ever since.
“My role is to oversee the flow of patients who come in through ED, our front door, and who need to be going out of our back door as soon as they are well enough. I take the approach that I should treat everyone exactly how I would want my loved ones to be treated. I want patients to have the best experience possible and that has been my motivation throughout my career – to help patients to be where they need to be.”
Marcia said she had stayed in Walsall for so long because she was made to feel so welcome from day one.
“I’m a Brummie but the Black Country has kept its hold on me because everyone is so friendly and welcoming here,” she said. “It was a big deal for me to be starting work and leaving home so I needed to choose the right place for me.
“I have worked with some fantastic teams and people and have been proud to see people progress too.”
Marcia, a Zumba fan, loves to go travelling and loves entertaining people and is hoping to have some extra time to do so although she is returning to work on a part-time basis.