BEING nursed back to health after a serious accident as a child was one of the inspirations for Ellesmere Port’s Laura Hall to become a nurse, while the other was her mum.

To mark International Nurses Week, which runs until May 17, Laura spoke about her job as a Macmillan lung cancer specialist nurse at the Countess of Chester Hospital.

It’s the same hospital where she was treated for many months as a 12-year-old, after she nearly lost her arm while playing in a friend’s loft and falling down an aluminium ladder.

Laura, who today bears the scar from that fall, but is otherwise fit and healthy, lives in Ellesmere Port with her husband and two children.

She is proud to be a Macmillan lung specialist nurse, working alongside her fellow Macmillan lung specialist nurse Rachel within a multi-disciplinary team in the hospital’s busy respiratory department.

She said: “From a young age I always wanted to care for people. My mum’s a mental health nurse and I was always aware of the amazing work she did for her patients.

"When I was 12, I received amazing nursing care at the Countess of Chester Hospital, and needed a lot of aftercare due to how traumatic my accident was. I knew then it was the career I wanted to go into.

“In my job it’s very important to support our patients in all aspects of their wellbeing, whether that be physical, social, psychological or emotionally.

"There have been numerous times where we have needed to understand the impact on a patient’s mental wellbeing. This involves spending time with patients and their families to understand how a cancer diagnosis is affecting them.

“It involves a holistic needs assessment (HNA) where we discuss what’s important to them and decide together how we can try to make this more manageable. This sometimes involves referrals to more specialised teams and is very individual to each patient and their needs.

“The relationships with our patients have been even more valuable during the pandemic especially if they are in-patients and their families aren't able to visit. Families have really valued our input in supporting their loved ones.

“It’s important to update families as much as possible to minimise the distress they feel over not being able to visit. We visit the wards so patients can see a familiar face, who is aware of their condition. I feel the trust they have in us allows them to open up about how they’re feeling and about their concerns.

“I am proud every day to be part of the lung cancer team. Our main focus is always to make sure the patients and their relatives feel well supported and valued and get the best care in a timely manner.

“I am extremely lucky to work with some amazing doctors and nurses, particularly my colleague Rachel. We have worked together now for over 10 years and work as a team to provide a smooth journey for people who are going through one of the most difficult times of their lives.

“I am very proud to be a Macmillan lung cancer nurse and every day I strive to be the best version of myself. I make sure my skills and knowledge are kept up to date by attending regular training within my speciality.

"I am also keen for other colleagues to know our role and how we can support patients. We regularly have student nurses and other health care professionals shadowing us to learn about the role we do.

“I would encourage anyone who is wanting to become a nurse to grab it with both hands.

"Whilst this can be hard and challenging at the best of times it is a very important job and being able to care and support patients at their most vulnerable is the most amazing feeling in the world. I care for everyone as if they were one of my own family members. I could not imagine doing anything else.”

  • For comprehensive cancer information and support, including Macmillan’s latest guidance on the impact of coronavirus on cancer care, visit . The Macmillan Support Line is open seven days a week, 8am to 8pm, on 0808 808 0000.