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MCH nurse shares 70th birthday with the NHS

MCH nurse shares 70th birthday with the NHS

Liz Ettridge 70th

Liz Ettridge, has spent 54 years working for the NHS and shares her 70th birthday this year with the NHS. She started working with the NHS on 3 May 1964 as a cadet nurse at All Saints Hospital. She has given almost continuous service to the NHS, apart from two short breaks of a few months. She wanted to be a nurse from the age of five and says she would love to do the 54 years again.

Liz has seen many changes within the NHS in her 54 years. She was a student nurse from 1966 to 1969 and trained between St Bartholomew’s Hospital in Rochester, All Saints and Medway Hospital. Medway Hospital was being converted from the old naval hospital and there were just four wards then. After qualifying Liz worked for seven years in the emergency department which had just opened at Medway Hospital and was state of the art. This gave her experience in all medical conditions which became beneficial for her progression to nursing in the community.

Liz became a community nurse in 1978 and developed a passion for helping those with wounds and leg ulcers, which can have a huge impact on resources and the patients’ themselves. She said "whilst the patient may not fully heal, if the treatment we provide is right we can significantly improve the patients’ quality of life."

Since the 1960s, Liz has seen the science progress from when there was virtually no specialist wound care to today’s complex evidence based treatments. In 2008 she joined the tissue viability and wound therapy team at Medway Community Healthcare (MCH) and has helped to develop this speciality service by passing on her many years of knowledge to others. She is currently facilitating our degree level leg ulcer course which is being run in conjunction with Canterbury Christ Church University.

Liz now works part-time but her passion for caring for people with wounds and leg ulcers remains constant. She says her secret to a long, happy and fulfilling career within the NHS has been to keep up-to-date with current knowledge by reading, attending conferences, providing best practice to patients, mentoring and sharing her vast knowledge. She is a huge advocate for the NHS and believes it is the best health service in the world.

Happy birthday Liz and the NHS.