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At Bernard Sunley, the Woking-based residential, nursing and dementia care home run by charity, Friends of the Elderly, Ester Manlubatan, the care home’s Deputy Manager and Clinical Lead, has been honouring this month’s International Nurses Day 2024 by sharing her own Nursing journey.

Ester has been with Friends of the Elderly and at Bernard Sunley since January 2003. When Ester first joined the Charity, she started as an Adaptation Nurse to meet UK’s nursing standards, regulations and FotE’s care practices.

ester with her award

Ester then progressed and became a Qualified Nurse and was promoted to a Team Leader. Ester then advanced further to become a Clinical Lead alongside her current role as Deputy Manager.

“I was born and raised in The Philippines and, actually, Nursing was not my first career choice,” said Ester. “I originally wanted to be a Teacher, but my late parents really wanted me to pursue a career in Nursing, so that’s the route I took.

When I started my student training, I was exposed to, and dealt with, many sick and unwell people of all ages. It was at that point that I felt I could do so much more for others as a Nurse. To be able to care, support and look after people, became my calling – I totally fell in love with Nursing and caring for others.”

Ester studied at the first university exclusively for women in the Philippines – The Philippine Women’s University (PWU). The PWU was formed in 1919 and officially recognised in 1932.

Its core values are fostered through a curriculum centered on holistic character formation, cultural and national heritage preservation, family solidarity, ethical professionalism, and service to the country

“During my nursing career, I worked for 17 years as a Surgical Nurse at two hospitals, one of which was The Northwest Armed Forces Hospital in Tabuk in Saudi Arabia. I also nursed Prisoners of War who were caught on the border of Saudi Arabia in The Gulf War,” Ester added.

“My day-to-day role at Bernard Sunley is extremely varied and full of multi-tasking,” Ester continued. “I attend handover meetings and hold briefing sessions with our Nurses and Carers of the day, where we discuss pertinent issues and our residents’ wellbeing. 

I then make sure I spend time with any families who have questions or need help with anything. As our Clinical Lead, I am also on hand whenever I’m needed. Most importantly, at Bernard Sunley, every day we work as a team to make each day a good day for each resident.”

To ensure she keeps up-to-date with any changes, updates or advancements within the nursing profession, Ester is in constant communication with her co-nurses and gets regular updates from The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) and The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC).

Ester also attends internal and external training courses to add to her already wide range of skills.

Friends of the Elderly has 12 Registered Nurses working throughout its care home and day care services, who all have an unwavering commitment to make a difference to older people’s daily lives, supporting them to live well in later life.

“I love being a part of such a caring team that devotes each hour of every day to keeping our residents motivated, engaged and safe. Bernard Sunley is their home and, as such, I work in their home. My role gives me 100% fulfilment every day, so I can’t ask for more than that,” concluded Ester.

August LTD
Grahame Gardner
Mr Trax Curtain & Blind Solutions
Inspired Inspirations
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