Jennifer Green

Paediatric Ophthalmology Sister

Dyslexia may try to stop some people in their tracks, but you don’t have to let it succeed. That is exactly the attitude of Jenny Green, Paediatric Ophthalmology Sister for Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust.

Jennifer (known as Jenny), did not know she had dyslexia when her school teachers told her that she was not smart enough to be a nurse. Almost 35 years into her nursing career she tells us how she proved them wrong!

Jenny has been working as a nurse in the NHS for over 30 years and has been trained in many disciplines but has found her calling in paediatric ophthalmology.

“A vacancy came up in paediatric ophthalmology and I wanted a change from what I was doing for the final five years of my career before I retire.

“You are never too old to learn, so I started here just over a year ago and I am thoroughly enjoying it,” Jenny said.

Having undiagnosed dyslexia was a hindrance to Jenny growing up and in her pursuit of her dream job as a nurse, but it is a testament to her character that she proved her doubters wrong.

“From a young age I was told that I would not be a nurse and I didn’t find out that I was dyslexic until I was 44 years old.

“I now understand why I found studying very scary and it was so difficult for me, but because it was something I wanted to do, I pushed myself to get the same qualification as everyone else.

Her job role entails working with the Eye Ward, preparing patients for surgery and planned procedures such as squints and removal of cysts at the Birmingham Midland Eye Centre. She also works in A&E with children from only a few days old all the way through to 16 year olds, who mainly come in with trauma to the eyes.

“I try to calm them down and build a rapport with them and their parents, go through the pre-assessment checks with them and test their vision before passing them on to the doctor.”

Jenny started her nursing career in mental health, which she found very exciting and the springboard into her other roles in nursing.

“Working in mental health gave me the tools to move into different areas, by giving me the skill of listening to a patient’s concerns.”

Jenny trained at the now closed Derbyshire Royal Infirmary and stayed there for 21 years before moving to the West Midlands and working in the private sector, as a ward sister at West Midlands Private Hospital in Halesowen.

“I moved to Sandwell and West Birmingham Hospitals NHS Trust because I felt that, because I started in the NHS, I should finish in the NHS also.”

In her spare time, Jenny sings in her church choir, the Birmingham City Church.

“We practice every Thursday, but we have something on every night of the week which keeps me involved.

“It has also allowed me to volunteer at local food banks and help in any way I can.”

When asked what the most rewarding thing about her job is, Jenny proceeded to pull out a hand written card she had received from a former patient.

“I looked after this child a few weeks ago and they have written their thanks to me in this card.

“It is so easy now for someone to complain about the care they are receiving, but it does make a real difference, as a nurse, to receive a thank you from somebody whose day you have changed for the better.”