Today is International Nurses Day. This year’s theme will be showcasing the incredible work and the difference nurses make to patients’ lives across the UK #BestOfNursing.
ICM cannot think of a better person than our Clinical Director, Julie Morrey to show the amazing dedication and care that nurses bring to their community.
Julie has been a registered nurse for 45 years and shows no sign of slowing down or leaving the profession that she adores, at the young age of 66.
Julie said, “I always wanted to be a nurse from when I was a little girl, there was nothing else I wanted to do”. Julie started her career at the age of 17 when she began work at the Birmingham Women’s Hospital on the baby ward, she worked there for 18 months, leaving to attend Nursing School for 2 years. She then went on to work at Birmingham General in Accident and Emergency, which is where she met her husband, Kevin, a former paramedic with West Midlands Ambulance Service.
After the birth of their first child, Julie began working night shifts at Bromsgrove Cottage Hospital and then moved on to start work at The Royal Orthopaedic Hospital where she first met Professor Sir Keith Porter (the first professor of clinical traumatology in the UK), Julie then worked at Birmingham Accident Hospital, Selly Oak Hospital A&E and Queen Elizabeth Hospital A&E
Julie was invited to be the first nurse to join the West Midlands Care Team! The West Midlands Central Accident, Resuscitation & Emergency (CARE) team is a charitable organisation who respond to serious medical incidents within the West Midlands, UK. One of the founding members was Professor Sir Keith Porter, it was founded in the late 1980s, around the time of the national ambulance strikes.
Always wanting to improve and keep learning, Julie went to university at 40 years of age, where she completed her nursing degree to transition from a state enrolled nurse to a state registered nurse. She continued to work at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham in the A&E department until her retirement a few years ago.
During her time at Selly Oak Hospital, Julie started Immediate Care Medical – a private ambulance company offering medial support at local events and patient transfer services.
When asked what she loves most about nursing, Julie said “it is making a difference and giving back, I just love being able to help people and the community”. One of her roles with Immediate Care Medical is working in partnership with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity leading CPR and Bleed Control Training for children and adults. “The role I do with MAAC is so rewarding, I love teaching and being able to share my knowledge and passion for nursing whether that’s teaching the public basic lifesaving skills or teaching the next generation of medical students.”
When asked about her advice for those just starting out in their medial careers, Julie said “Never think that you know everything, every day is a learning opportunity and you should learn from everyone that you meet – young or old – as there is always a lesson if you look for it.” Her final word to future nurses is “the patient must always come first, no matter what the situation.”
Would Julie do anything differently if she could go back in time? Her answer was a firm “No”. “I don’t regret a single moment of my career after I first walked into nursing school, I couldn’t do anything else, don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t easy, especially with a young family, and the work was tough, but I wouldn’t change my career for anything.”
So deep is Julie’s passion for nursing, that both her and her husband went back on the road during the Covid Pandemic to support the NHS. Both were retired at the time, but as Julie said “I just couldn’t watch from the outside, we both share the same passion and values and knew it was where we both belonged helping the public and supporting where we could.”
My final question was about a memorable moment that stood out. She said “When a patient came into A&E who lived on the streets, it was so important to me that we cared for these people, human beings who had come upon hard times. To be able to shower them, feed them and give them clothes and find a bed for them at a homeless shelter may not seem a lot, but to me it was so important to show compassion. Especially during Christmas, finding a bed for someone at Christmas was alway so important to me and l never left work until l had achieved my goal.”
Everyone at Immediate Care Medical, and I am sure all the people Julie has helped and supported in her incredible 45 year career, want to thank and recognise this incredible woman for her dedication and hard work. You are one special lady who epitomises the #BestOfNursing.