A South Tyneside nurse who says she eats, sleeps and breathes the health service has said she thrives on helping other people.
Zoe Clapham, an endoscopy unit manager at South Tyneside District Hospital, wanted to be a nurse ever since she was a little girl.
Even when she was at college studying healthcare, she was already working as an auxiliary nurse at her local hospital.
She qualified as a nurse in 2003, and her first job was on the stroke unit.
She spoke to the Shields Gazette to back the launch of this year’s Best of Health Awards which searched for health heroes just like Zoe.
And she started by explaining the important role of she and her team play.
“Endoscopy involves using a flexible tube with a camera attached to it to see inside the body,” she said. “Ours is a very busy department but no matter how busy we are we always treat each patient as if he or she was one of our own relatives. “People who know me say I eat, sleep and breathe endoscopy and they’re right – I thrive on the atmosphere, the teamwork and knowing just how many patients we are able help.”
Mrs Clapham has always had an interest in gastroenterology, which is the study of the normal function and diseases of the oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, colon and rectum, pancreas, gallbladder, bile ducts and liver.
So when the opportunity came along to become an endoscopy nurse she grabbed it and promotion to deputy manager of the unit followed, before she became manager.
Now the dedicated nurse has welcomed the Best of Health Awards.
“There is such a lot of hard work going on in our Trust which people don’t see so it is fantastic that the public have this opportunity to show it is appreciated,” she said.
This year’s Best of Health competition will be searching for even more examples of excellence in the health world.
That’s because our 2017 awards includes South Tyneside as well as Sunderland.
There are lots of categories to choose from, so there’s no excuse not to put your own health hero in the running for honours.
Sponsors for this year’s awards are South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust, City Hospitals Sunderland NHS Foundation Trust, mydentist, and NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group.
To nominate, just send your name, address and telephone number, as well as your email address, if applicable. Remember to include the category you are putting your nominated cause into.
Also send the name of the person you wish to nominate, along with their address, telephone number and email (if known).
Send all of that to Lynn Wild by no later than April 7.
Email those entries to email@example.com or send them to Lynn Wild, Alexander House, Second Floor, Rainton Bridge Business Park, Houghton-le-Spring, Sunderland,DH4 5RA.