What is your current role?
I am Shadae-Marie Brown and have worked at Evelina London for just over a year as a children’s nurse on Mountain ward. Prior to this, I trained here for three years as a student. I work with children and young people requiring both general medical and high dependency care, such as those on ventilators.
More recently, I have begun my own project, with the support of senior leaders at Evelina London, which is all about celebrating and supporting our black staff and patients, and raising awareness of the obstacles experienced by black staff, patients and families.
How has this come about and what does it involve?
I had watched the news about the tragic and unfair death of a black American, George Floyd, in America in May 2020. Like most people, my heart was heavy and I was mourning someone I never knew. I spoke to my ward sister and matron about my feelings and how upset I was that I felt the Black Lives Matter movement, which was happening across the world as a result of George Floyd’s death, had not been addressed. Where things went from that impromptu conversation in the middle of a long day shift, I could have never imagined. I was encouraged to write a newsletter for staff at Evelina London to foster open conversations about race and to raise awareness of issues surrounding it.
The support I received was fantastic – colleagues from across the organisation reached out to me and I was overwhelmed. Ideas flourished and the local initiative and small ideas I had matured into an Evelina London wide project, called the Black Excellence project!
What’s it like to work at Evelina London?
Working at Evelina London is great - I feel fortunate to work at such a prestigious children’s hospital where we are able to provide excellent care to children and young people, and their families, from all walks of life. Staff are exposed to a wealth of opportunities and specialisms within the hospital to develop our skills and careers.
What is your passion?
I would say I have many passions and interests, all of which I am involved in when caring for children and young people on Mountain ward. My interests range from tracheostomies and ventilators to Sickle Cell disease. However, my ultimate passion is always providing safe and effective patient care for all. On a personal level, I am passionate about addressing and tackling institutional racism and achieving equality for all and I am hoping to inspire positive change.
I am looking forward to the next year of running the Black Excellence project; seeing how it grows and the positive impact it has on staff as well as patients and their families. As a nurse, I am looking forward to learning new things, gaining new skills and taking on any new opportunities that come my way.
What would you say to others who may be feeling the same as you?
I would say that Evelina London is a place for all and we are committed to equality and diversity, striving to make positive changes to benefit everyone. Staff, children, young people and their families from all walks of life are welcome and should be treated fairly. In the event that you feel this has not been the case, I would encourage anyone to be brave, speak up and call out inequality.
Thank you to the children and young people who have so brilliantly illustrated our history pages.