Three nurses and friends from Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield are together celebrating 45 years of service to the NHS on Monday 30 December.
Burns Sister Colleen King, Lead Dementia Nurse Anita Ruckledge MBE and Sister Karen Walker from the Plastic Surgery Dressing Clinic have all worked at Pinderfields Hospital in Wakefield for 45 years, where they started their nursing careers in December 1974.
The three nurses have remained firm friends each marrying local men who were also friends. They have supported each other not only through their professional lives, but also through the ups and downs of personal life too.
Burns sister Colleen King, who has worked as a burns nurse on the Burns Unit at Pinderfields Hospital for almost 42 years, has dedicated her life to treating tens of thousands of burns patients, and is believed to be the longest serving burns nurse in the United Kingdom.
Colleen said; “I’ve worked with some fantastic people over the years and I couldn’t do my job without the support of every member of the burns team. Nursing is my passion and who I am and I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It’s been wonderful sharing my nursing journey with the two people I started my career with, as we ‘ve been able to support each other and share our expertise.”
Lead Dementia Nurse Anita, was awarded an MBE in December 2015 for services to nursing. Her award was announced in the New Years Honours list the same week that she celebrated 40 years in nursing after starting her career as a Pupil Orthopaedic Nurse at Pinderfields Hospital. Anita said; “I am privileged to be able to do a job that I really love and I believe it is my vocation. This is work that you have to do with passion and I am so lucky to be able to do this every day and having two of my friends to share my nursing journey with has been amazing.”
Sister Karen Walker from the Plastic Surgery Dressing Clinic, has worked in various departments at Pinderfields Hospital including Ophthalmology, Elderly medicine and Orthopaedics before becoming a Ward Sister for the Plastic Surgery Dressing Clinic in 2006 where she has remained since.
Karen said; “I have had a fantastic career doing a job I truly love. As I walk around Wakefield town I regularly see people I have nursed and they always stop me for a chat. I feel very lucky to have spent my working life doing a job I love with wonderful people. In my current role as Sister on the Plastic Surgery Dressing Clinic Unit, I work with one of the best teams I have ever had the pleasure of working with and when I eventually retire I will miss them all!”