Nurse Kathryn Fry retires after a 50-year career on Friday – retiring from the ward she trained on all those years ago.
Kathryn started out as a 16-year-old nursing cadet at the Convent Hospital in Nottingham, earning £5 a week - and trained as an SEN on Simpson One at City – now the Elective Admissions Lounge where Kathryn has worked for the last 12 years.
Kathryn retired-returned in 2016 to spend more time with her grandchildren. Now, she says, the time is right to go for good.
“I’ve got mixed feelings – you work all your life towards retirement and when it comes it is a bit daunting. But I think it is time.”
She reflected on the changes she’s seen in her 50-year career, which saw her working at the Convent Hospital, the NHS, the private sector, and nursing homes, and converting her SEN to RGN.
“When I started we wore the frilly hats and your silver buckle, and you felt a real pride in your uniform. It was like the Forces, really, you didn’t talk to the Ward Sister, and she called you Nurse, she didn’t know your name.
“We worked eight-hour shifts and met colleagues in the canteen, which was lovely.
“And the patients stayed in longer, so you got to know them better, you were more involved. I’ll miss the patients, how they open up to you when they come in, that trust they place in you.”
Kathryn is going to be working part-time at her three-year-old grandson Seb’s nursery.
Looking back on her career, she said: “I’ve never done anything else, I’ve never wanted to.
“My colleagues are fantastic – nurses are brilliant, the job they do and their commitment. I’ll miss that – there are not many jobs – or people – like that.”
And the respect is mutual.
“Kathryn has a way of supporting and caring for all people, staff and patients alike,” said EAL colleague Kate Spence. “In her quiet way, she gets on with what’s needed with diligence and understanding. She will be sorely missed – her knowledge, skills and compassion follow her wherever she goes.”
“Good luck from all your EAT/TAL colleagues and friends – we know you will shine wherever you are.”