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Photo: Mary Ryan

Mary Ryan's story

Mary has been a nurse at Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham (QEHB) since 2006, working on the wards before moving into Endoscopy following the birth of her second child. 

 “When I returned form maternity leave, I could not have felt more supported,” explains Mary, “they bent over backwards to help my return to work be as smooth and straightforward as possible.”

Mary wanted to work part-time and so took a role in Endoscopy which allowed her to co-ordinate her working hours with her childcare more easily: “Endoscopy is very flexible – I have a great work-life balance and I’m not missing out on my family life.”

“I also use the on-site crèche – it’s an excellent nursery that opens before 08:00, which means I can drop my kids off before my shift.”

But it is not just the work-life balance that has Mary super-enthusiastic about her role:  “Endoscopy is fascinating; you are working side-by-side with consultants, learning from them about diagnostic techniques and different conditions.

“Every day is different. The department isn’t isolated; we interlink with so many other specialties, so we are constantly expanding our knowledge and building up a strong rapport with clinicians from across the whole Trust.

 “There is no hierarchy in Endoscopy; we all work together and learn from one another, regardless of whether you’re a consultant or a healthcare assistant. It sounds like a cliché, but we are one big happy family.

“When a patient comes for an endoscopic procedure, they are here as a day case; therefore I care for them through their entire journey in the department and that is very rewarding, and something I really enjoy.

“I welcome them to the unit and assist in the procedure room, so I'm there throughout to reassure the patient. It means you have a real connection to everyone you see that day.”

For Mary the training and development programmes available at QEHB are also very important: “There isn’t a day that goes by where we don’t learn something new or have some form of education or training.

“The Clinical Educational team is warm and supportive, and we have a strong mentoring programme, which is very conducive to personal development.

“I am very proud to be part of this hospital – it has a good reputation and the new building has outstanding facilities.

“The hospital is big but in my opinion, big is better. It means we have more resources, more opportunities and there is always lots to get involved with, but most of all I feel part of a large network of great people.

“I feel very safe in the knowledge that I'm working and developing with the best of the best in a remarkable multidisciplinary and specialty team.”