Holly Smith – A&E staff nurse

FOR the second Christmas in a row, aptly named staff nurse Holly Smith volunteered for duty at Sandwell Hospital, thereby ensuring that patients were well cared for during one of the busiest periods of the year.

When asked what motivated her, Holly (26) said: “I came in on Christmas Day because I wanted to make sure my team were supported to give the best care to our patients at this festive time.

“The A&E department was slightly busier than usual, but spirits were high and everyone worked together for their patients. It is important for their wellbeing that patients feel relaxed and calm while they were under our care.”

Not only did she do her duty in A&E but also went the extra mile to help another acute department on the same day. She explained: “I just felt it was the right thing to do and I’m glad I could help.”

It’s no surprise to learn that Holly is a rising star in A&E, thanks to her initiative and genuine caring for patients. She said: “I just want to care for people in the same way I’d like to be treated. I still remember a time when a dementia patient was admitted to our department. Although she was with her carer, she was very anxious and stressed because she was in a different environment. Fortunately, the patient was my neighbour and she was able to recognise me. I made sure she saw me around to ensure she felt safe with a familiar face and that helped her through her treatment with much less stress. The following day, I visited her on the ward to check on her wellbeing. I am glad I was there at the right time, and in the right place to help her.”

Holly knew she wanted to become a nurse when she was only 11 years old. She said: “When I was young, I saw how my mother cared for my grandfather and great aunt and what she did really inspired me. I knew I wanted to care for people and have never looked back.”

Holly has been working in the NHS for five years and joined the A&E department in Sandwell last September. She said: “I wanted to work for A&E when I was newly qualified. But at that time, I felt I didn’t have enough experience and confidence. After a few years working in different specialities, I finally felt confident enough to apply for the post in the A&E team and I was so happy to get the job. I absolutely love working in A&E at Sandwell Hospital. It’s different every day and so fast-paced. It’s also a very rewarding job as you can quickly see the difference that you make to patients. I have learned so much since I joined the team and I couldn’t thank them enough for being so supportive to me.”

And who inspires her every day? Holly answered: “My inspiration comes from senior nurse Michelle Williams, who is working on the AMU 2 ward at City Hospital. She is very good with people and is someone that everyone looks up to. She is caring, kind and always goes above and beyond her duty. She is my NHS Hero.”

In her free time, Holly, living in Dudley, enjoys doing Pilates to keep her fit and healthy. She also likes spending time with her god daughter.

ENDS