After what has been a very rewarding career, a well-known and popular face at South West Acute Hospital, Enniskillen, Norma Ross formally stepped down at the end of June as Ward Manager, Medical Ward 2.

Reflecting recently on a lifetime of nursing, Norma, who went into management in the latter stages of her career, said it was always more than just a job. “Professionalism means much more than getting a qualification,” believes Norma.

She said: “I have been influenced by so many wonderful people over the years, some who are no longer with us, sadly.”

Norma pointed out: “I have always held on to the traditional core values that were such a part of my early training in the 1970s.”

In the last five years as Ward Manager, she pointed out that she has held on to the same passion.

“It’s never too soon to start striving for excellence, and to care about the effect you have on patients and colleagues.

“I am always a nurse first and a manager second and have had the greatest satisfaction from my time at the patient’s bedside. You can make such a difference to patient experience.”

Norma went on to say: “As a leader I try to lead by example to motivate not dominate. I am inspired every day by the energy and positive “can do” attitude by many staff who bring new ideas to the workplace.”

She believes they are “very lucky to have the wonderful facilities” the SWAH offers.

She noted: “Change keeps coming, organisational goals and patients goals are not always the same, challenges are immense. There are many good people working very hard every day.”

Norma mentions that she now looks forward to continuing in her role as a Marie Curie Nurse and she has taken up part time duties as a Nurse Specialist with the N.I. Hospice. She has also taken up pastoral care work within her church.

Norma concludes that she feels privileged to have worked in the NHS and to have done the job she has done. She also feels she has been given so many opportunities along the way. Having followed the right career for her, she said she values the people she has met over the years.