Colleagues recognised the kindness and compassion shown by Advanced Nurse Practitioner Pat Harker who retired recently after 43 years with the NHS. Her care home ANP colleagues inscribed the words ‘Now Retired – Always Admired’ into one of her leaving gifts and a surprise physically distanced visit was also undertaken by her nursing class colleagues of 1978 who told anecdotes of Pat as a young nurse.
Pat’s career embraced the former Sauchie Hospital and Stirling Royal Infirmary where, after qualifying, she worked as a theatre nurse and in the surgical wards before embarking on midwifery training. Her own maternity leave followed and after returning, Pat worked part-time through the local staff bank. She subsequently spent many years as the treatment room nurse at St Ninians Health Centre, undertaking clinical examination and prescribing courses. At the age of 50 she achieved her Degree in Nursing.
Three years ago she was asked to run a pilot to try to reduce GP visits to care homes. This was so successful that several more nursing posts were created to support care homes, the roles aligning to nationally agreed competencies for advanced nursing practice. At the age of 60 Pat became an ANP.
From the start of the Covid-19 outbreak Pat was always first to volunteer to help out and even spent her 60th birthday doing some additional work at a local Covid-19 assessment centre. Pat is also a regular volunteer with the Samaritans and does a session every week. Although Pat was imminently due to retire she continued to volunteer to support care homes during the pandemic and was still doing additional shifts in her own time during her last week of working. We wish her well in her retirement.