Nurse says farewell after 53 years of caring

Retiring nurse Noreen Atkin who has worked as a nurse for 53 years, 35 of them in North Kirklees.
Retiring nurse Noreen Atkin who has worked as a nurse for 53 years, 35 of them in North Kirklees.
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A nurse who will be familiar to many in North Kirklees will retire after spending more than half a century in her role.

Noreen Atkin has spent almost 53 years as a nurse, including around 35 years in this area, a large amount of which was spent as a district nurse.

Noreen in her early nursing days.

Noreen in her early nursing days.

She said she would miss the special connections that she formed with patients during her career.

“When you see patients and you have seen them for a long time you get know so them so well and become like family. It’s nice to see when they get better and you are a part of that,” she said.

“The other side of that is when people don’t get better and they have passed away. You feel like a family member in that situation as well.”

Noreen, 68, said the role had changed a lot in her 50 years and that younger people coming into the job had a different set of experiences ahead of them.

“It’s getting to be a harder job. The girls that come into it now have longer hours and a different kind of work.

“They have a big workloads and bigger areas to cover. It’s a whole new way of working to what it used to be.”

Noreen, of Hare Park Lane in Liversedge, said there were certain days and people that would always stick with her.

“Some of my best memories are at Kenmore care home when we would take the people out to see shows and it was just super because a lot of them could not get out at all. It was great to go out to see how happy everyone was.

“We had guy who had MS and he was such a lovely guy to be with, but he got worse and sometimes all we could do was laugh. Sometimes we would go to see him and he would be spread eagle across the floor. We used to laugh together.”

And in her final weeks she has begun to tell her patients that she is calling it a day.

“I have told one or two – they said ‘oh dear’, but there will always be someone else to come in and look after them.”