Ward manager Pat Johnson has spent almost 40 years caring for the people of east Kent.
But it could all have been very different – she was initially offered the chance to train as an accountant.
Thankfully, Pat decided an office job wasn’t for her, and she started her nursing training at the Kent and Canterbury hospital in 1982.
Now, as manager of Bishopstone Ward at the QEQM, she and her team look after people following hip and knee replacement operations.
She said: “Things have changed a lot since I started – technology and medicines have improved and patients can recover more quickly and go home sooner.
“People used to stay in bed for at least 48 hours after a hip replacement, and now they are up as soon as possible.
“They used to stay for two weeks, now they go home after three or four days. I remember taking part in a trial to get it down to seven days and now it’s half that, which is incredible really.”
Pat is passionate about providing the care she would want her family to receive – and about inspiring others to choose a nursing career.
She said: “These are my hospitals. My family are treated here, my friends are treated here and my grandchildren were born here.
“I’ve seen great care and that is what I want my team to provide. Everyone is involved and valued, from our volunteer to the ward clerk, housekeepers, my assistant, and the nurses and physios.
“I think we should all be role models for our profession, so patients and visitors who come to the ward are inspired and think ‘I’d like to do that job’.”