Byline: Emma Brady
Frances Soocoormanee became an enrolled nurse in 1968 and, after working at various Midland hospitals, is now staff convenor at Heartlands Hospital in Birmingham.
"Enrolled nurses were 'bedside nurses' when I qualified, which basically meant our role was to see to the patients' needs, whether it be a bed pan or pain relief," says Frances.
"The problem with that was you could end up being the only one on a ward at night, but there have been some excellent changes since then, especially in nurses' training.
"However, I do think student nurses should be allowed to do more ward placements, so they get used to nursing practice in the real world and treating real patients. At present I don't think they're getting enough experience to back up their academic knowledge.
"They need to go beyond the textbooks to be able to sense when something's not quite right and share that information with the doctors.
"Back then patients were used to being told what was wrong and what treatment they would get because 'doctor knows best' but now they're more knowledgeable and more likely to ask for specific drugs or surgery as a result of surfing the internet.
"After working at the Corbett in Stourbridge and Birmingham Accident Hospital, I went on to become an industrial nurse, working without much of that support you'd get on the wards, so that's when a nurse's instinct is vital.