National award honours Suffolk nurse Bridget
Bridget Glynn, a senior staff nurse at the West Suffolk Hospital, has won a coveted Cavell Star, which recognises nurses who show exceptional care, and is in memory of Edith Cavell, a British nurse who was executed in the First World War.
Bridget, who says she is proud to serve her local community, had no idea colleagues in the critical care unit at the Bury St Edmunds hospital had nominated her for the award. It recognises her long and outstanding career, which over 40 years includes more than 37 in critical care.
Trish Bivins, critical care ward manager, said: “As a senior team we put Bridget forward for a Cavell Star, which is an inspiring national awards programme recognising exceptional care to colleagues, patients, or patients’ families. She puts patients, families, and staff at the heart of everything she does, and we are so proud she has been awarded this recognition.”
Trish added: “Myself and Amy Wade nominated Bridget, who was a senior member of the team when both Amy and I joined the unit. She was integral in supporting us from band 5s all the way to our current positions as ward managers.
“We receive feedback highlighting how she has the ability to recognise the small things that matter to patients and families, especially when faced with end-of-life care.” Trish also said that Bridget always nominated herself to work over festive holidays to ensure colleagues can take leave.
“Bridget epitomises what it is to be a nurse,” said Trish. “At a time when we are all striving to make a difference for patients, families and colleagues, Bridget does this effortlessly and selflessly.”
Bridget said: “Everything I ever wanted to be as a nurse is in the citation for the award. It is a real privilege to have your colleagues say these things about you, but it’s all about the team. We all depend on each other and support one another, it’s a family.”
Winning the award was a complete surprise to Bridget, who said: “I had absolutely no idea. They called me to leave the unit, and I was wondering what had happened, then I saw my colleagues all lined up and they started to clap. It was very special. I’m still processing it if I’m honest.”
Bridget, 61, started her training at the hospital, part of the West Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust, at the age of 19 in May 1982, and qualified as a registered nurse in 1985, working on the wards. “As a student I did a stint on the intensive care unit (ITU) but found it a bit daunting. Once qualified and after a year on the wards, I decided to face my fears, and go back – that was 37 years ago, I loved it.
“You never come to work knowing what is going to happen and you learn something every day,” she continued. “I love it as much today as when I first started. I remember Trish and Amy, our ward managers, as fresh-faced young nurses. Some of our doctors weren’t born when I started work here!”
Bridget said: “You are caring for complete strangers, but you create an invisible bond with them. It’s the little things that matter – patients might not remember the clinical skills, but they will remember the kindness.”
Bridget lives in a village near Bury St Edmunds and grew up in the area. “There were five of us, all close in age, and my brothers and sisters have travelled the world, but I’m a local lass. Critical care is my home, and the West Suffolk is my village – I’m proud to serve the local community.”
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