Sandra McEwan, Staff Nurse

Tell us a little about your current role?

I am currently employed with the NHS Forth Valley Staff Bank. I have been working with the Immunisation team at the vaccination centres administering the Covid-19 vaccines. I also work with community nursing teams to visit patients in their own homes.

You’ve worked for NHS Forth Valley for 35 years, what other departments have you been employed in, and do you have any special favourites?

I qualified in 1988 after training to become a staff nurse working throughout my training in the former Falkirk and District Royal Infirmary. After I qualified, I worked in Care of the Elderly and then had a few years working in a busy orthopaedic acute ward.

Following on from there I was very lucky to get a job as a Staff Nurse working within the District Nursing team at Bo’ness Road, Grangemouth where I worked for 23 years before taking a career break to travel and visit my husband in South Korea.

On return, I secured a job within the Keep Well team and was seconded to work in partnership with Falkirk Council within the Justice system and I have to say that this has been a special favourite job of mine.

During lockdown I decided to work for 6 months with the immunisation team helping to deliver the Covid-19 vaccination programme.

How would you describe your personality?

I am a very positive person and motivated to help others. I am cheery, like a laugh and am approachable.

Bookworm or telly addict, which books or which programmes?

To be honest neither, as I prefer to be on-the-go. I do enjoy a romcom movie but love being outdoors walking, cycling and relaxing in the hot tub. I love a magazine which I can flick through and get ideas and short stories.

What do you see as your biggest personal achievement?

I have been married for 31 years and have raised two lovely girls, my eldest is an architect and the youngest is heading off to university to study biology.

Having struggled with my weight most of my life and tried various diets I decided to join my local Slimming World group and with the help of my fabulous consultant, along with the support of all motivational and inspirational people in the group, I have lost 4st 1lb and achieved my personal target and remained there since.

My group also voted me as Woman of the Year 2021 and this is such an honour to know that I have inspired others to lose weight and feel better about themselves. I have also recently trained at Slimming World Head Office, Derby to become a new consultant and have launched a brand-new group locally in the Forth Valley Sensory Centre in Camelon.

The health benefits with losing this weight have been amazing and I now walk and cycle and feel so much healthier. I am currently taking part in the virtual Lands End to John O’Groats walk/cycle to raise funds for our local Strathcarron Hospice.

What’s always in your fridge?

Plenty of fresh food, vegetables, salad and a bottle of Pinot Grigio, my favourite wine.

Funniest moment?

One day whilst living in South Korea, I was invited along to a baby shower and the girl who was hosting the party was Australian. She asked kindly if I would bring a plate. So along I went with a few plates thinking maybe she didn’t have enough for all her guests and could she not have bought paper plates?

…I handed them to her and then it clicked!

Other guests were bringing plated food to the party not an empty plate. On realising what I had done and having never heard of this before we all laughed and have done so ever since.

Sun worshipper or shady lady?

Definitely a sun worshipper.

Most memorable holiday?

This has to be a dream holiday with my husband to Niyama, Maldives to celebrate our silver wedding anniversary. It was a tropical paradise and whilst there we snorkelled with tropical fish and turtles, ate in the underwater restaurant, had a romantic sunset dinner on the beach and a champagne breakfast, and sailed on a Dhoni whilst watching the dolphins swim in their natural habitat. A truly amazing experience.

How have you coped during the pandemic?

As a nurse with the Keep Well team, I was redeployed to the community nursing team to help nurse patients in their own homes. I then worked in the Covid-19 Assessment Centre for a spell before taking up a position with the immunisation team delivering Covid vaccines to elderly residents in the local care homes. It was a busy time for myself and for my husband who is also a key worker.

Being on Zoom calls with my Slimming World group every week also helped me keep a check on my weight, and I enjoyed being outdoors and walking.

What’s your personal mantra?

Live life for the moment.