Dedicated to nursing – Emma is our NHS Hero

After witnessing her mum’s successful and rewarding nursing career, Emma Fulloway (39) knew from the age of 16, after leaving school, that she wanted to follow in the footsteps of her hero.

Emma, who lives in Coseley, has spent her entire career within nursing, from starting her journey working alongside her mum in a nursing home, to working in various hospitals across Birmingham and the Black Country. Emma, who is now the infection prevention lead nurse for Dudley and Walsall Mental Health (DWMH), knew she wanted to work hard and help others from the get-go.

“I completed my nursing diploma in 2002 and worked as a general nurse in a cardiac intensive care ward at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham.”

She added: “I also worked in a trauma and burns unit at Selly Oak Hospital and I realised that both of these areas and roles, had a real focus on infection prevention as our patients were so vulnerable and susceptible to picking up infections. It was from there that I landed my first role as an infection prevention nurse for Dudley PCT.”

Since 2008 Emma has worked within infection prevention and has worked her way up to an infection prevention lead nurse at DWMH, where she has been for five years.

Emma’s current role ensures that teams have processes in place to make sure environments are safe and clean for patients and safeguards them against infections.

“I have led on a lot of important campaigns during my role so far, such as water safety, hydration, and the flu campaign – which we have exceeded the target for, two years in a row, which is good going for a mental health trust,’’ said Emma.

Emma has had many highlights throughout her career, with one of them being developing a sepsis pathway with the UK Sepsis Trust back in 2016 to ensure DWMH staff know what to do if they suspect sepsis.

When asked what her next big challenge was, Emma said, “I do think that merging with Black Country Partnership Trust is our next big challenge, but then again I work with an amazing and supportive team so I should never have to worry!”

Outside of work, Emma loves spending time outdoors with her other half and her feisty Belgian shepherd alongside going to music events and learning to play the ukulele.

So who is Emma’s hero?

“My mum is definitely my hero because she is just such a great role model: she’s hardworking, caring, resilient but funny at the same time,” said Emma.

“I’ve had the pleasure of working with her a couple of times through my career and I just feel so grateful because she is the person who inspired me to go into nursing and supported me through it.”

Emma’s mental health message: “Remember it’s ok not to be ok and it’s important to take time for yourself.”