Hi, I’m Valerie,
I am a nurse and it’s such a rewarding job that can take you across the whole world. I cross paths with lots of different people; I love learning about them and their individual cultures. Originally I’m from Zambia but I moved to Botswana and started working in Primary Health Care nursing in a wide variety of divisions, from family planning and midwifery to administering injections and conducting child welfare clinics. Now in England, I have acquired more knowledge and skills and I work with multidisciplinary teams. What I like most about nursing is the value and quality that I am able to give to the community. When patients feel better, it’s fantastic to see a smile on their faces!
When I moved to Tilbury, I joined Willows Lodge Care Home and then Coronavirus hit. The last two years have been a challenge, when the pandemic first started we didn’t have any PPE, we felt like we were forgotten about within the community. It was a scary time, staff were concerned about coming to work when Covid cases were up within the home. Families weren’t allowed to visit, so we stayed by the bedside of our patients ensuring they were comfortable and did not feel alone when they reached the end of their lives. The pandemic affected the mental health of staff and patients but I tried my best to identify when staff were struggling and tried my best to help.
When times are hard, prayer gets me through. Before I leave home, I pray, before I enter the building at work, I pray. I have a rosary that a Pastor gifted to me which I carry with me in my pocket, when I’m too busy to pray I touch it to feel closer to God.
The Queen is everything a woman aspires to be in my opinion. Back in Zambia, my mother loved the Queen, she was present in our household as she is the mother of all nations. I am delighted to be taking part in the Platinum Jubilee Pageant and being able to celebrate her huge achievement with so many others!
“Valerie is an inspirational nurse, helping patients from across Thurrock on a day-to-day basis. She’s always smiling and helps to lift moods wherever she goes, even when working with extremely sick people. Not only did she help patients during the pandemic, but she was open to talk to colleagues to help them when they were feeling low.” – extract from the key worker nomination for Valerie
Valerie with her key worker scroll. Photo: Katie Beadle
The process of creating Valerie’s Scroll:
Valerie’s key worker scroll. Photo: Kristian Buus