Kristine Tanyag, care home and Nuffield Health nurse, speaks below about her experience working during the Covid 19 pandemic and about the image she captured being picked up by The National Gallery.

What do you do in nursing?

I’ve been working as a deputy and clinical lead in a local care home in Chichester, West Sussex. I also work at Nuffield Health’s Chichester Hospital on part time basis as a ward nurse. I previously worked full time as a nurse practitioner in the local NHS up to June 2019.

Tell us about your role and experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic?

By working in a care home during the Covid-19 pandemic, I have seen with my own eyes how hope in care home residents has been damaged.

Sadly, some have lost their motivation for life because of not being able to see their family and friends regularly.

In my 19 years of nursing in the UK, the Covid-19 pandemic has pushed my patience to the maximum. On the positive side, I better understand the purpose of being a nurse now. From working in a care home, I see things in a different angle now after being a nurse both in the NHS and at Nuffield Health.

Have you been impacted personally by COVID-19?

I’m proud to call myself a Covid-19 survivor. I was poorly for seven weeks, self-isolating at home with the rest of my family. I infected my husband, who at the time was recovering from a heart attack. We found out personally how hard life can be when illness strikes.

How has your BAME community origin influenced your attitude to nursing and the Covid-19 pandemic?

Being from the BAME community origin has not influenced my decision to work or not in this pandemic. My determination has exceeded the fear and my faith has also supported me in these tough times.

As a Filipino nurse, I have been trained to stick to the motto: “obey before you complain”. Tough times will not make me turn away from nursing.

Tell us about the National Gallery highlighting your photograph of a care home resident seeing their family?

The care home resident was aged 100 and sadly passed away a few days after this photograph was taken. It was chosen in the National Gallery’s top 18 of the director’s choice for the category of ‘Precious Moments’ from over 31,000 entries so I am delighted. The purpose of this photograph was for the resident and the family to have the most beautiful remembrance, capturing emotion and an image of lockdown in a care home. I am very proud and indebted to this family for letting me take this photograph.

What does Florence Nightingale mean to you?

As a Filipino nurse, you have to live with the Florence Nightingale expectations, it’s others first! I look up to her and I’m proud of her legacy and the resilience she showed. I’m proud of my own achievements and those of my nursing colleagues, wherever we work. We all deserve to be called more than a hero! We are nurses and proud!

Nuffield Health is a strategic partner of the Florence Nightingale Foundation. Watch Nuffield Health’s Clinical Director Carol Kefford’s keynote speech at the Nightingale 2020 conference here. 

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