Inspirational Stories

Bert Lewis

Bert has been involved in Learning Disability Nursing for the last 25 years. From starting out as a volunteer, he has had an exciting career and he now holds the position of Ward Manager at Muckamore Hospital.

His dedication to his work led to him previously being nominated for the Nurse of the Year Awards in the Patient Nominated category and he recieved a commendation.

To become a Learning Disability Nurse visit the Learning Disability Nursing section.

Volunteering is also a great way of getting involved in nursing. Visit the Volunteering section to find out more information.

Bert Lewis

Bert's Story

Nursing was never what I thought my career path would be, despite several nurses in my family and constant encouragement from my mother saying I would make a good nurse.

My interest in working with people with a learning disability came by chance. I was still at school and working with a cross-community inter schools charity committee and was asked to volunteer at the local Gateway Club. I didn’t know what to expect but was immediately taken by the warmth and friendship that was so readily available from the individuals that attended. I quickly became more involved in the organisation of events and was signed up as one of the leaders and continued volunteering for a further 2 years before moving away to follow my career path.

Meanwhile at school, exams loomed and pressure was being applied to decide on universities. I made an appointment with the careers officer, at this point I decided I wanted to work with people with a learning disability and he explained the options - I could go to university and train to be a Special Needs teacher or a social worker and I could go to Muckamore Abbey Hospital and become a nurse.

My mother's voice was ringing in my ears so the application was made and less than a year later my career in Muckamore Abbey Hospital began.

Muckamore opened up so many doors for me both professionally and personally, I met my wife when we were both students and I am still best friends with those that I met in the Nurses homes back in 1985.

I have worked as a staff nurse in the male and female admissions units within the hospital and it is here that I developed my interest in assessment and treatment of individuals with learning disability who also present with mental health problems.

In 2001 I was successful in gaining a Ward Manager’s post and continued to work in admissions. To date my greatest achievement is being an integral member of the team that set up the new admission and assessment unit within the hospital.

25 years on from coming through the gates of Muckamore, I still look forward to what lies ahead of me, everyday is different but one thing still stays the same and that is the enjoyment that the individuals I care for, bring to me.

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