Top job: Nurse of the Year Sue Pedro. *Photo by Kageaki Smith
Top job: Nurse of the Year Sue Pedro. *Photo by Kageaki Smith

FRIDAY, MAY 11: For more than 40 years, Sue Pedro has been a friendly and familiar face at schools across Hamilton.

The popular nurse arrived in Bermuda from the UK in 1971 and over the years she has worked tirelessly to care for her patients as well as raise awareness about health issues.

Mrs Pedro’s dedication to her job has resulted in her being named the 2012 Nurse of the Year.

She said: “I’m very humbled by the award.

“It means a great deal as I was nominated by my peers and it shows how they feel about me.

“I have always enjoyed my job and the opportunities it has given me to meet some very special people.”

Mrs Pedro trained to be a nurse at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge, England before travelling to Bermuda at the age of 23.

She initially worked in the Intensive Care Unit before joining the Woodbourne Hall Surgery in Hamilton.

In 1981 she took on the role of community health nurse and was responsible for visiting schools in Hamilton.

She said: “I would go around schools like Elliot, Prospect and Dellwood and work in their clinics.

“I rotated between three or four schools and dealt with everything from bruised knees to health checks.

“I liked working with the children and I got on well with the teachers too.

“I still see a lot of those children these days and they still remember me from back then.

“You build up a relationship with children as a community nurse and I really enjoyed my time at the schools.”

In 1998 Mrs Pedro moved into the Communicable Disease Clinic in Hamilton, but she continues to visit schools and raise awareness about safe sex and sexually transmitted diseases.

And more recently she became one of the island’s sexual assault nurse examiners.

The mother of two said: “We tend to be on call for a week at a time and we can be called out in the middle of the night sometimes.

“Often the victims we see are very traumatized and it is hard to deal with.

“But we have an important job to do and we always offer support after the initial examination too.

“I still love my job after all these years. I just like helping people.

“I have been very fortunate in my career to do what I have and I am very grateful for the opportunities that I have had.

“There are tough times in this job like having to tell someone they have an illness or HIV.

“But the real highs come when you can help someone change their behaviour for the better and see the results of that.”