Joy Walker – Senior Ward Sister
It was a valuable piece of advice from her mother, that would spur Joy Walker on to become the dedicated nurse she is today.
But it was a far cry from her initial career aspirations.
Joy, aged 53, first wanted to become a hairdresser. “When I told my mum I wanted to be a hairdresser just like her so I could create beautiful looks for people, she suggested I reconsider and become a nurse instead.
“She said she felt it was the right thing for me. And I couldn’t thank her enough for that valuable piece of advice. I have now been a nurse for more than 30 years and I just can’t imagine doing anything else.”
Joy, originally from Rugby, is the senior ward sister on D26 at City Hospital, Birmingham. Her main responsibilities are to ensure patients receive safe care and that the ward is run smoothly on a daily basis.
She also wants to ensure the best standard of care is given across the Trust.
She explained: “I always want to treat my patients like the way that I would like to be treated. I have a very high standard of care.”
And it certainly shows, especially from the feedback Joy receives.
The mum-of-one added: “It makes it all worthwhile when I receive letters from patients and their families after they have left the hospital, telling me how grateful they are for the excellent care they have experienced.”
She has been recently praised by Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust, which runs City Hospital, for her excellent work in implementing consistency care and thanks to that, the D26 ward has won three awards for their outstanding performance. She also led the team and ensured that the Safety Plan was properly implemented, which ensures all patients receive the correct checks within a certain time when they are admitted to the ward. The initiative has helped the Trust to be shortlisted for the Patient Safety Awards 2018.
Joy said: “The Safety Plan is a very important project and the results have been great. I’m so proud to see that my team has achieved 100 per cent performance, which means patients can be reassured that their safety is being checked at all times.”
So who is her NHS hero? “My hero would be one of my former colleagues, Lorraine Ray, who used to work at the Trust as a matron,” explained Joy.
“She was very kind and inspiring. She helped me to progress and always offered the best advice. I still miss her a lot. She showed me what a good nurse should be and I couldn’t thank her enough for her support.”
In her spare time, mother-of-one Joy enjoys spending time with her family and going to church.