One of Inverclyde Royal’s longest serving members of staff will retire later this month, after almost 40 years in the job there.
Steven McDowall (58), an Advanced Nurse Practitioner (ANP) – has worked every day of his career at the IRH – and says he would do it all over again.
Steven became an ANP (a senior nurse who has undergone extra training and can prescribe etc) in 2007 and has worked night shift and weekend day shift ever since, as part of the Hospital at Night/Day team. He’s come a long way since beginning his training aged 19 in January 1983.
Steven said: “Thinking of retiring leaves me quite emotional. I love my job and enjoy working with our small team of ANPs and Clinical Support Workers; we all work so closely and so well together and are all friends as well as colleagues.
“I have always had it in my mind that I would go at 58. Family life sometimes takes a back seat when as a nurse you are working unsocial hours like night shift and most weekends. It’s time for family now. I am also very active and enjoy golf, football and going to the gym. I feel it’s time to go while I am still relatively fit.”
Healthcare is something of a family business for Steven.
He said: “My daughter, son-in-law and sister-in-law are nurses, my son is a physio assistant and my nephew is a care assistant. They’ve all worked or still work at the IRH.
“The last year has been very challenging for everyone, but as a senior nurse I suppose I had more experience behind me, and maybe coped better with demands of the pandemic than maybe some junior colleagues did.
“The Hospital at Night team consists of the most senior members of staff on duty out of hours, a big part of our role, as well as looking after our patients has been to support our younger and less experienced colleagues. I think like the rest of the NHS we all pulled and worked together and have managed to meet the demands of an extremely challenging 18 months or so.
“I have loved being a nurse and loved working at IRH. It’s got a great family atmosphere, everyone knows everyone and is a very friendly environment to work in. Given the opportunity I would honestly do it all over again!”