Olwen Morgan’s nursing career started in Carmarthen, West Wales, in 1987. Since then she’s worked across Wales and explored and developed skills in contrasting specialties. Olwen’s journey has given her a huge sense of fulfilment – and it’s one that continues to delight today. Olwen says:
“Being a nurse is the only thing I’ve ever wanted to be, ever since I was a little girl, and being a nurse in Wales brings its own unique joy. My three years of training in Carmarthen was a very happy experience. It enthused me and prepared me to the point where I couldn’t wait to be a fully qualified staff nurse. When I then became a staff nurse, I was able to fully care for my patients with confidence as my training had enabled me to be entirely sound, safe and good at my job.
"I believe that at its core, nursing is still very hands-on and the basics of the profession haven’t changed. What has changed is the technology and science – the world in which we operate – but the ‘Art of Nursing’ is the same now as it’s always been. I feel lucky to have worked in Wales for all this time. I’ve worked in Carmarthen, Swansea and Neath - wherever I’ve worked there’s always been a sense of community and belonging.
"My career has primarily criss-crossed between two specialties, namely medicine and cardio-thoracic surgery. Nursing, as a career pathway, has enabled me to change direction in this way. I started in medicine and elderly care – which gave me a wonderful grounding in terms of ‘pure’ nursing – but after six years I decided to switch direction to work in a cardiac surgical intensive care unit. That experience taught me so much. I went from expert to novice overnight. I found myself in a critical care environment and although it was terrifying at first, I got the support I needed to get to grips with things and I slowly became an expert within that specialty. That’s the wonderful thing about nursing. It gives you the opportunity to adapt and learn things you didn’t know were possible.
"I’ve been back in medicine and elderly care for seven years now and I’m currently a Senior Matron responsible for operationally leading nursing care and services at Neath Port Talbot Hospital. I do this with the support of my team of 3 Matrons and the hard working Ward Sisters and their staff. Being able to nurture the nurses of the future feels like a real privilege and I’ll never lose that passion for caring for my patients.”