HEALTH MATTERS I Healthy fun
A nursing assistant as activities coordinator on the Rock of Gibraltar Nancy Tellez, Activities Coordinator, St Bernard’s Hospital, Gibraltar Health Authority
Iwas born and raised on the historically famous monolithic limestone Rock of Gibraltar, a British overseas territory near the southwestern end of the Iberian peninsula at the entrance of the Mediterranean. The Rock of Gibraltar has one district general hospital that serves the local population of over 35 000 residents and many cross-border workers from neighbouring Spain, as well as visiting tourists.
English is our official language and our education system is all in English. Most Gibraltarians are bilingual in English and Spanish, while many speak an English dialect known locally as ‘yanitio’ (Llanito), which is influenced by Spanish, Genoese and Hebrew. Our health authority The Gibraltar Health Authority (GHA) provides health care in Gibraltar. Gibraltar enjoys similar health and standards of healthcare provision to most Western European countries. We use a healthcare model that is closely linked to the National Health Service in the UK. Our hospital was opened in February 2005. The GHA employs approximately 1300 employees and handles approximately 32 000 accident and emergency attendances and over 90 000 outpatient episodes.
St Bernard’s Hospital provides a comprehensive outpatients service and in-patient treatment for acute medical and surgical cases. With over 200 beds, it incorporates a maternity unit, paediatric ward, surgical wards, medical wards, renal dialysis, critical care unit, operating theatres, radiology, pathology, rehabilitation and ambulance services, among others.
Engaging in meaningful activities can promote an atmosphere of hope and optimism and enhance recovery.
My background and what led me to work in patient activities I have the best job in the world. Having worked in the retail industry after leaving secondary education, I really enjoyed the interaction with customers and learning to practise active listening and empathy to handle their personal needs. This steered me towards nursing, as essentially the three important qualities of customer service centre around the three ‘Ps’: professionalism, patience and a ‘people first’ attitude to help others; there is much in common with nursing here.
On commencing my career as a nursing assistant on 14 April 1996, in a
May 2022 Vol 16 No 5 British Journal of Healthcare Assistants