One of Glasgow's longest serving nurses shows no signs of slowing down as she celebrates 50 years

Valerie Welch celebrates her 70th birthday and 50 years as a working nurse
-Credit: (Image: NHSGGC)

One of Glasgow's longest serving nurses has been praised for her dedication to NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde as she celebrates 50 years in the job.

Anyone who has had surgery under anaesthetic vaguely – and in many cases vividly – remembers the friendly face that was there for them when they woke.

Most likely, that person would have been a recovery nurse, the first person who gave the reassurance that they were safe as they opened their eyes. They assess vitals, manage pain, ensure patient comfort, and provide support during critical recovery periods.

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They have a crucial role to play for all patients, but for children, their warmth and care is extra important.

Val celebrating with colleagues
Val celebrating with colleagues -Credit:NHSGGC

One recovery nurse who embodies this is Valerie Welch who works at the Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. This month, Valerie celebrated her 70th birthday and remarkably 50 years of working in nursing.

Valerie qualified as a nurse down south in 1974 and moved to Scotland in 1986. In 1992, she trained in paediatrics and started her post in the RHC PACU seven years ago.

To this day, she loves everything about it. Valerie said: “Children are my favourite to work with. I enjoy everything about working with them".

Last week, Valerie enjoyed a small celebration with her colleagues on the ward and shared some words on why she continues to do her job.

“I love the one-on-one care that is required with this job. The children are so vulnerable when they come around from surgery. We really need to be there for them, tell them they’re safe, and get their parents or carers in to be with them as soon as possible.

“There is no such thing as an average day in theatre recovery. It can be busy, but I’m never bored.

“I’m part of a fantastic team that I enjoy working with. As long as I can, I will be working here,” she said.

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The Post Anaesthesia Care Unit Recovery Team shared a special comment for Valerie. They said: “Valerie has a remarkable, bubbly personality that everyone warms to, especially the children.

“You don’t achieve 50 years in nursing without having an excellent connection with patients and Valerie certainly has that with every kid that comes through our doors.

“We love that she is part of our team, and we wish her the happiest of birthdays and anniversaries.

“All the best, Val!”

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