Gerry Baber – Matron

Aug 9th, 2017

– T&O is Gerry’s passion – 

It’s been nearly 30 years since Gerry started out, working as a Staff Nurse on a Trauma and Orthopaedic ward – and you can tell she’s loved every minute. She’s tried other sub-specialities in that time, but has always come back to T&O, admitting: “It’s my love, my passion.”

So what’s does Gerry enjoy about T&O? She says: “It’s never knowing what’s going to come through the door, the unpredictability of it. And there’s never a dull moment. It’s jolly hard work and certainly not for the feint-hearted, but the time just flies by. You’re never clock-watching – unless it’s because you’re running out of time!”

The mix of patients appeals to Gerry, though she admits: “If I’m completely honest, I do have a soft spot for the elderly, and all the challenges that working with them brings. If they’re in hospital for a long time, you really get to know the life they’ve lived and build up a rapport with them and their families. At the other end of the spectrum, it’s great working with young people who’ve had a sporting injury, or are recovering as a result of doing something a bit crazy!”

“It’s a very social place to work and there’s always something fun going on”, remarks Gerry. “In fact just a few weeks ago, one new nurse decided to put on a ‘Mocktail Happy Hour’. The staff brought in fruit, cocktail umbrellas and their own blenders to make smoothies and fruit cocktails for the patients – young and old loved it, chatting to staff and having a thoroughly good time.” Gerry says: “It’s wonderful when new staff join, bringing fresh ideas which the whole team embrace.”

Working in T&O gives you the best grounding as far as Gerry’s concerned. She always tells newly qualified nurses that wherever they end up, they couldn’t get a better breadth of experience than they do from this speciality. She says: “When I qualified back in the 80s, it was the thing to do six months’ surgery, six months’ medicine and then decide what you wanted to do. But actually you get it all here and you don’t have to move teams. That’s a big positive.”

Brilliant support sets the Trust apart according to Gerry. She says there’s no end of initiatives to ensure staff get all the training and support they need. Development programmes have been introduced for all nursing bands, designed with the help of nurses who’ve already moved up the ladder. There’s also online training, as well as a dedicated education centre. As Gerry says: “You reap what you sow. If we don’t give our people the support they need, they’ll just leave or we’ll have a very unhappy team – and we don’t want either of those things to happen.”

When asked about working for the Trust, Gerry concludes: “What I love about this organisation is that patient care and patient safety always comes first. If you’ve got a concern, people will listen to you – and that’s very reassuring.”

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