Inspiring Guest Post from Julie Sheen – Proud RMN (newly qualified)

Dementia Carer Voices Tommy Whitelaw had the privilege of meeting with the wonderful Julie Sheen last month at a student led conference at Teesside University.   Tommy said  “Julie’s passion and enthusiasm made my heart smile”.  As Tommy left that day Julie said she would be sharing ‘ make a difference ‘ as part of her next speech she had to 280 new nursing students at The University of Chester as part of their induction week.

You can read the amazing story below.   Massive thank you Julie for the kindness,  your story and for making a difference!

On 25th September 2014 I was asked to deliver a motivational speech to 280 new nursing students at The University of Chester as part of their induction week and was daunted to be met with the sight of 280 expectant faces looking back at me.  I was asked to tell them about my journey from depression to Downing Street, as I had been cared for in my past as a patient and now, as I won Nursing Standard Student Nurse of the Year and Student Nursing Times Care maker of the year, I was soon to visit 10 Downing Street at The invitation of the Prime Minister.  I was also encouraged to explain the yearlong campaign I ran in partnership with my lecturer and the students union which was aimed at improving the mental wellbeing of students.

I wanted to explain what I had achieved and encourage their broader involvement with their University which would not only supplement their training, but would also develop them as people, which I feel would make them more effective practitioners of the future. As I began to think about that I began to  realise that it was not about encouraging them to do things so that they can receive shiny trophies, but very nice they are, however to inspire them to make a difference to others.  Therefore after outlining the above I spoke about three people who had inspired me recently: my lecturer Julie Dulson (the kind of nurse I aspire to be), Becky Lees who was the vice president of Chester Students Union and now student engagement officer (my critical friend and who encouraged me as a mature student with more ‘labels’ than you could imagine) and finally but certainly not last Tommy Whitelaw.  I explained how Tommy was doing possibly a bigger and more important of a tour than John Bishop this year!  After explaining how Tommy raises the extremely thought provoking issues re the day to day issues faced by carers of people who are experiencing dementia, I highlighted that every single student nurse will be part of someone’s dementia journey and the difference they can make to that journey.  I then asked them to do something inspirational right there and then, which was to make their own quick pledge to carers, asking for even just one word even.  I asked them to then hold up their pledges together and was delighted that now rather than the frightening hall full of faces I now saw a wonderful sight of pledges.  This made me now inspired to make my own new pledge:

“I pledge to turn the ‘sea’ of countless faces of healthcare from something daunting for carers to something supportive and caring”.

Having now typed up all of the 155 pledges I received back that day it stood out to be how many times the words ‘listen’ ‘care’ and ‘smile’ were repeated, if we all just followed those three words, I am sure we can Make a Difference.

Julie Sheen – proud RMN (newly qualified).

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  1. Listen and communicate compassion
  2. Help
  3. Make them smile and laugh
  4. Listen
  5. Give them more support and listen to them to promote good care
  6. To help people with dementia and carers by educating people who don’t know or fully understand; to bring awareness
  7. Help raise awareness
  8. To listen more and have more awareness of dementia
  9. Be compassionate for good care and support everyone equally
  10. Listen
  11. Support
  12. Support and stability so that they are not alone
  13. Listen
  14. More support for those who are carers of people with dementia at home
  15. I will listen to them
  16. Raise awareness
  17. Reassurance
  18. Care and support
  19. To always listen and to be a figure of support for anybody, from any walk of life, who is a carer for somebody with dementia
  20. Care
  21. Patience
  22. Consider THEIR views
  23. Be there
  24. Show patience
  25. Empower and thank them
  26. Support
  27. Listen
  28. Make a difference
  29. Raise awareness
  30. Listen
  31. Listen and support
  32. Listen and smile
  33. Give them someone to talk to
  34. Understand
  35. Raise awareness for the carers
  36. Be there
  37. Listen to them for advice
  38. I will help other care workers to understand dementia
  39. Listen
  40. Raise awareness
  41. Be patient
  42. Listen
  43. I will smile
  44. I will support and learn to understand
  45. Advocate or give them a voice
  46. Listen
  47. I will care and show compassion to all service users and carers affected by dementia
  48. Listen
  49. Raise awareness
  50. Listen to them
  51. Care
  52. Make them aware of the help available
  53. Talk to them
  54. Learn
  55. Just listen
  56. Give them time and spend quality time with them
  57. Give them a voice
  58. Fight for them and support them
  59. Give them TLC and support
  60. Put in passion and the 6Cs
  61. Spend more time assisting carers for people with dementia. Become a dementia friend to widen my knowledge of dementia so that I can be more understanding of the condition
  62. I will always take their needs in to account
  63. Have empathy and encourage. Sit with them and listen.
  64. Listen and support
  65. Be a dementia friend
  66. Learn and care
  67. Give them a voice (a voice to make a change)
  68. Listen
  69. Learn
  70. Give them a voice
  71. Friend
  72. Listen to them
  73. Become a dementia friend
  74. Be nice
  75. Listen and support
  76. Shoulder to cry on
  77. Give them power to change a life
  78. Make time to listen
  79. Listen, talk, give time
  80. I will become a dementia friend
  81. Listen
  82. Become a dementia friend
  83. Talk about it and promote carers, make people aware of what carers do
  84. Love
  85. Try to raise awareness
  86. I will listen
  87. Dignity (let them keep it) we are ALL human
  88. Don’t be ageist
  89. Treat them how you would like to be treat yourself
  90. Support and care
  91. Listen
  92. Help them and make them smile
  93. Smile and care
  94. Listen
  95. Fight
  96. Listen
  97. Support
  98. Love and listen
  99. Listen
  100. Support
  101. Be more understanding
  102. More time, support and praise
  103. Make time for them
  104. Be polite and understanding
  105. Compassionate
  106. Show some understanding
  107. Increase awareness
  108. Protect and reassure
  109. Take time to listen and understand
  110. Be compassionate
  111. Help it to be well known around the world to get better support and more people to listen for better quality of care
  112. Use courage
  113. Understand and empathise
  114. To listen, to help, to support, to be there if needed
  115. I will listen and show compassion
  116. Support
  117. Have more patience and promote their independence in their job
  118. Pray
  119. More support so they have a voice
  120. More support
  121. Respect
  122. Learn
  123. Promote support
  124. Patience
  125. Care
  126. Gain more understanding
  127. Support
  128. Listen
  129. Support
  130. Smile
  131. Understand
  132. Patience
  133. Listen
  134. To listen and advocate
  135. Listen
  136. To be there. To have a friend and to listen, put in place what they need
  137. Care
  138. Listen
  139. Smile
  140. Listen
  141. Talk to them
  142. Provide care with empathy and understanding
  143. Listen
  144. Be friendly and helpful
  145. Be friendly with them and make them smile
  146. Listen
  147. Courage
  148. Listen
  149. Learn
  150. Help
  151. Care
  152. Listen and understand
  153. Care
  154. Learn
  155. Listen
Posted in "You Can Make a Difference" Pledges, 'Viewpoint' Blog Posts
2 comments on “Inspiring Guest Post from Julie Sheen – Proud RMN (newly qualified)
  1. Having read this I thought it wass extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort tto put this short aricle together.
    I once again fund myself spending way too muxh time both readinjg and commenting.
    But so what, it wwas still worthwhile!

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