Hospital operations would grind to halt without the many skills of Carol Hodkinson and her colleagues in the Sterile Services team.
She has spent 37 years at Blackpool Victoria Hospital making sure every reusable surgical instrument and device is washed, disinfected, sorted, checked, boxed, wrapped and steam cleaned before being sent for use again.
“I didn’t want to be a nurse when I left school but I did want to work in a hospital, and this is the job that came up,” said Carol.
To begin with, she had a junior role preparing dressings and linens before being promoted to instrument sterilisation.
Carol says the fundamentals of the job have stayed the same over the years.
The team shares the various tasks across each shift to prevent fatigue. Sorting and checking instrument packs after they have been cleaned requires enormous concentration.
“The NHS has given me security. When people ask me what I do, I feel very proud to say I’ve been here so long.”
… share your NHS75 story
We’re counting down the 75 days to the 75th anniversary of the founding of the NHS on 5 July – and Trust colleagues, patients and the local community can all take part.
We also want to hear what you love about the NHS as well as your stories and memories – and thank you to everyone who has been in touch so far.
- How has the NHS changed you or your family’s life for the better?
- Do you have pictures of times past at our hospitals and sites you’d like to share?
- Did you have family or friends who were with the NHS at its start in 1948?
- What inspired you to work in the NHS?
- Tell us if you are just one of many generations to work in the NHS
Share your ideas and memories by visiting the My Story section on our NHS75 web pages.