Perceptions of Nursing and Midwifery

Whats a role model?

Two events have occurred during the last week which have really made me think about the term “Role model”.   What is a role model, who are my role models and why?  

I guess when I put my mind to it a role model for me is someone who inspires me, to be the best version of me possible.  I've been incredibly lucky during my career to work alongside some outstanding role models, the kinds of people who raise all around them up to a higher level either by design or simply by being in their presence.  The kind of people who demonstrate qualities you yourself would want to have, or at the very least give you something to work towards.

As said two events prompted these thoughts, the first was the retirement of a titan in the field of nursing.  Frances has been my head of nursing since my appointment as Matron 6 years ago and in that time she has demonstrated true authentic leadership in my every interaction with her.  She exhibited the qualities I personally find most appealing in a leader, warmth, sincerity, care, compassion and genuine interest in my wellbeing.  She had a heightened sense of Emotional Intelligence like none other, able to detect my mood or state of mind the second I entered her office.  I always felt safe when speaking with her no matter the subject matter or how challenging the conversation needed to be.  In terms of role models she to me is the epitome of leadership, calm, collected and caring in all she did.  Always able to tackle the difficult discussions, whilst still remaining supportive and nurturing throughout.  Exactly the kind of leader I would aspire to be.                      

The second event was an awards ceremony for one of our senior clinicians, Graham.  Our trust encourages patients to submit “personal touch nominations” to recognise staff who have made a difference and on this occasion Graham was selected as the winner of the prestigious award following a nomination from one of his patients.  Graham is a giant in his field, internationally renowned and respected by all for his contribution to his speciality.  He’s also the most down to earth, normal doctor you will ever meet.  This award was not to recognise his academic work or his chairmanship of national societies; it wasn’t to recognise his skill with a LP needle or his knowledge of chemotherapy.  It was to acknowledge the time and effort he had put into getting to know a patient, into making them feel at ease, making them feel they mattered to him, on a personal level. 

It recognised that he had made it his business not to treat a disease but to treat a person, and also their loved ones.  Graham in typical Graham fashion deflected the praise by telling us all how it is a team effort, by giving praise to others in the room and by congratulating the whole team rather than himself.  All greatly received, but no Graham, this award was and rightly should be about you and all you do.  Graham is without doubt another strong role mode, not just for me but for us all, he shows day in and day out how important it is to remember the person at the heart of all we do as health professionals, how important it is to make those personal connections, and how important it is to care. Exactly the kind of nurse I would aspire to be.

Both Frances and Graham in my mind are fine examples of role models; they are relatable, caring and kind whilst also being incredibly professional and knowledgeable.  They have both inspired me and many others to try to be better than we are, and for that I am very grateful.

That’s two of my role models or personal heroes, but who are yours?  I would urge you all to give it some thought as by recognising what we respect and admire in others we can try to improve or instill those qualities in ourselves.

What inspired you to write this blog?

Two Fantastic role models

What is your role?


What are your nursing and/or midwifery qualifications?


edited on Oct 5, 2018 by Bev Matthews
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