Devon

Still working nurse, 83: 'I love my job'

Monica Bulman Image copyright Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Monica Bulman in 1957 (left) upon gaining her state registered nurse status, and right, celebrating her 83rd birthday

An 83-year-old nurse who still works 15 to 20 hours a week says she has "no plans" to retire.

Monica Bulman, who works at Torbay Hospital, began her career in the NHS aged 19 in 1952.

When she's not working, the grandmother, who turned 83 on 1 September, is a gym-bunny and attends regular spinning classes.

Mrs Bulman said she still loves her job but misses the 1950s uniform because it was "much more glamorous".

Read more about Mrs Bulman and other news in Devon

Image copyright Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Mrs Bulman still wears the same belt she bought to wear with her uniform when she qualified in 1957
Image copyright Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Mrs Bulman has been a nurse for 64 years

"I love my job, each and every part of it. Being a nurse brings me so much pleasure and keeps me on my toes," Mrs Bulman said.

After 64 years as a nurse, Mrs Bulman said the main change is technology.

"Although we now have much more paperwork to compete, it is fantastic that with the technology we can now look up our patient's X-rays and test results at the click of a button rather than having lengthy waits for the information," she said.

"Another change that amuses me is that years ago the theatre nurses, who were all gowned up, had to manually thread the needles for surgery, whereas now these all come in packs, pre-threaded."

'An inspiration'

She started her state enrolled nurse training in 1952 at Eltham Hospital, London and began working at Torbay Hospital in 1998, aged 65.

Image copyright Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Mrs Bulman celebrated her 83rd birthday on 1 September
Image copyright Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust
Image caption Mrs Bulman celebrated her 83rd birthday with her colleagues at Torbay Hospital

"My job has kept me going and helped me through some of the toughest times in my life. I don't know what I would have done without my colleagues and a job where I can dedicate myself to caring for others," she said.

"I still have no plans to retire and I hope to keep going for as long as I am able."

Mairead McAlinden, chief executive of Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust, said: "Monica really is an inspiration to us all."

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