Julie Guy – Junior Sister

Julie Guy thumbAFTER more than three decades working for the NHS, Julie Guy – a sister at Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust (SWBH), is passionate about nursing and makes it her life’s ambition to inspire future generations to become excellent nurses.

Julie Guy (55) from West Bromwich is a nurse at SWBH. She started her career in 1978 at Sandwell Hospital, and after a move to Walsall in 1985, returned in 2000, and has been at the Trust ever since.

Working at SWBH, Julie feels that the Trust has a supportive and nurturing environment. She doesn’t want to work anywhere else because she is supported by her colleagues and is encouraged to continue learning and improving. Julie explained: “Judging from my experience working at different trusts, I feel that the working standard here is very professional. The system is run efficiently and the Trust is willing to keep up to date with changes to ensure that we deliver the best quality of care.”

As a nurse, Julie’s prime responsibility is to care for patients. She also helps manage ward Newton 2 and improve patient experience. Julie worked with the Trust pharmacy on a project to introduce new items to pre-pack drugs, leading to a reduction of approximately four hours in the amount of time patients wait for their safe discharge.

Julie continued: “I always want to go beyond my patients’ expectations, even if it is just a little touch. When I make a cup of tea for patients’ relatives I know that a small gesture can make them feel that someone else cares about them too. Or when we organise the Red Cross to assist patients when they go home, and make everything easier for them, seeing the relief on patients’ face makes me feel so happy.

“I enjoy my job because I can look after patients and talk to people from different walks of life. I find the job rewarding when I am able to put patients at ease, especially when helping them to overcome their fear before surgery. I guess in the end, one of the reasons nurses are here is to make patients feel comfortable.”

Explaining why she chose to become a nurse, Julie smiled and said: “When I was at school, I was not sure what I wanted to do. One day, when the school organised a career event day, a senior nurse and a staff nurse came along and talked to us. The nurses were very professional and showed that they knew exactly what they were doing. When I looked at them, I knew I wanted to be like them. I wanted to care for other people and be really good at my job.”

Julie sets high standards for herself. She explained: “My aim is to be the best I can be in my job. Currently, I am working with senior colleagues to help the ward enhance patient care. In the past, I helped another ward improve the quality of care, which made me very proud.”

Although she is now close to retirement, Julie does not have any intention to stop learning. She has recently finished her Acute Care Degree (BSc) and is continuing her studies in order to gain Honours.

She said: “I think it is important to keep learning and improving. Being responsible for training nurses, I hope that I can help them to understand the true meaning of nursing, which essentially is about giving the patients the care that you want to receive. Also, I hope I can inspire them to have the courage to make positive changes and have a strong belief in what they do.”

In her spare time, Julie enjoys gardening and visiting the sea. She loves spending her time with her two children and her husband. She said: “Without my family’s support, I would never be here. I especially feel grateful for my children’s understanding of the nature of my job. When they were small, they were always patient if they had to wait for me, and I have always been grateful for their support.”