Senior Research Nurse Deborah Hall started her nurse training in 1979 at North Manchester General Hospital School of Nursing, back in the days when Oldham, Bury and Rochdale hospitals all had their own individual nursing schools.
Alongside the technical knowledge she needed to do her job, she also absorbed some very strict rules about bed making – not just hospital corners on the sheets, but also making sure the open part of the pillow cases all face the door, the wheels on the bed all faced the same way and the double diamond pattern on the counterpane showing – heaven forfend that it should be the single diamond pattern!
After qualifying, one of Deborah’s first posts was on a female medical ward specialising in diabetes and neurology and this was the start of her particular interest in diabetes.
She remembers how in the early days patients were taught how to mix long acting and short acting insulins together in a syringe – today patients have individual insulin pens with insulin mixtures already in them. Patients also used to have to buy their insulin pen needles as they were not on prescription. Research evidence was noticeable on the wards even back then, with needle lengths changing from the 12.7mm needle common in the 1980s to the 6mm needles in use today.
Deborah began her research nursing career in 1994 at the Diabetes Centre at North Manchester General Hospital and to date has worked on at least 60 research projects at the centre. She said: “The research we have been involved in has seen new treatments and devices come to market and change how we deliver care to our patients. This can only continue and surely benefit ourselves and future generations.”