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29 June 2018
Pat Gibson started working for Bedfordshire Hospital as a pre-nurse in October 1969 after she left school.
She continued to carry on caring for patients for the next 47 years until December 2016 when she retired. But it wasn’t just a fulfilling career that she found in the NHS, as it was during her nurse training that she also first met her (now) husband Trevor Gibson.
At that time, Trevor was one of the first male nurses to undertake nurse training at Bedford Hospital. He was training to be a State Registered Nurse when they met, and Pat was training to be a State Enrolled Nurse.
It was while they were both training on the Gifford Nash Ward that one of the Sisters attempted to ‘play cupid’ by arranging for them both to work on the same shifts across a weekend. However, Trevor was called away to help with some heavy work at the newly built ward block, and other changes on the ward meant that any plans to create a love match between the two of them were foiled.
It wasn’t until Pat was placed on the John Bunyan Ward that the couple finally started officially dating. In 1974 they were married, by which time Pat was working in the North Wing of Bedfordshire Hospital and Trevor was working in the South Wing.
After a while Pat transferred to the clinics in the main Out Patients Department (OPD) while Trevor carried on his nursing training, to pass his State examinations. Trevor’s NHS career continued to move forward until at one point he was given the role of his wife’s line manager.
When talking about her time at the NHS Pat said: “I regard my experience as the best training there is - the Pre-Nurse Training gave the best possible basic grounding for Nurse Training and it was educating and enjoyable. I made lots of friends and had lots of fun.
“I would definitely encourage anyone who would like to get into nursing in the future to do so - I can’t guarantee you will meet the man you are going to spend the rest of your life with in the NHS - but it really was a wonderful experience”.
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