International Women's Day 2022

Date: 08 March 2022

Time: 15:00

IWD Roisin

In support of International Women’s Day (Tuesday 8 March 2022), we’re sharing the career journeys of some of our inspirational colleagues throughout the day to help inspire others.

Read the story of Roisin Bolton, Clinical Sister, below.

I started my nursing career in 1977 during the height of the troubles at the Waterside Hospital Derry in Northern Ireland.  It was an interesting and harrowing experience at times, dealing with multiple casualties of bombings and shootings.

Three years later I moved from Northern Ireland to Kent where I started working at Medway Maritime Hospital on the male surgical ward. I was there for just over four years before moving to the Accident and Emergency (A & E) department. Then in 2009 I transferred to Nuclear Medicine where I remain today.

As a Clinical Sister, working within a multidisciplinary team, my role varies from injecting radioactive isotopes for diagnostic purposes to arranging therapy for patients with Thyroid cancer. This has been a new challenge and a huge learning curve but one I have enjoyed.

As well as making many friends; at times it has felt like we were one big family, I have also seen many changes at the hospital.

When I first started we had a tin hut (where A block is now) which housed the social club and staff changing area, plus the staff uniform drop/collection laundry point. We also had a staff swimming pool behind the staff residence and a large grassed area surrounded by trees where, if it was a nice day, we would sit and have our lunch. Staff were also known to play the odd game of cricket on it. This is now home to the multi-storey car park.

The main entrance to the hospital was by the clock tower and next to it was a crèche for children of staff.

During my nursing career I have come across many incidents of inequality and racism - I have even been physically and verbally abused due to my ethnicity (being Irish) but as a strong willed person I think I have dealt with these incidents in a manner befitting to my role at the time.

After 45 years’ continuous service with the Trust I am set to retire this September but that doesn’t mark the end of my nursing career as I plan to return in November and work two days a week.

While it may not have always been plain sailing, it has been a privilege to work for the NHS.

  • Summary:

    In support of International Women’s Day we’re sharing the career journeys of some of our inspirational colleagues throughout the day to help inspire others.

    Clinical Sister Roisin Bolton, who recently celebrated 45 years’ continuous service, reveals how her nursing career started and the changes she has seen at Medway Maritime Hospital over the years.