When Chris Kemp began her career working as a nurse in 1975, she never dreamed she would eventually be working alongside her family.
More than 45 years later, she is closer than ever with her three daughters – both at home and the hospital she works in.
Chris, 63, is a ward matron at the University Hospital of North Tees where she has spent the last 13 years of her long nursing career. And her daughters have all followed in her footsteps, taking up positions in nursing and the allied health profession at the same hospital.
Chris works alongside daughters:
- Bariatric specialist nurse Nicole Thomas, 33
- Ward matron Alex Higgins, 27
- Occupational therapist Victoria Kemp, 24
Chris began her career as a cadet nurse in 1975. She earned her qualifications and taking up the role of staff nurse in 1980 – earning £4,198 a year.
Chris was promoted to sister aged just 23 and has continuously progressed since there.
Now a ward matron, she said: “I didn’t even research or look into being a nurse or anything. I was just naturally very drawn to it.
“I’m ward matron now but I still like to get stuck in. The majority of our patients are so lovely and it just makes you feel good and so proud of your team.”
Chris is joined at work by her daughters
Chris isn’t the only one in the family naturally drawn to a career in health and care. Her three daughters all found that they ‘naturally fell into’ their roles as well.
Alex is Chris’ middle daughter and works at hospital as matron of the surgical observations unit. She said: “I originally wanted to be social worker so I came into nursing to get experience in care. By the time the third year of my degree came around, I just couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“I love that it’s something different every day – you’re always on your toes and never bored.
“In surgery, we take some of the poorliest patients who’ve been through intensive care. You see them at their very worst and then suddenly they’re up and going home a couple of weeks later.
“There’s nothing more rewarding.”
Oldest daughter Nicole qualified around ten years ago and now specialises in bariatric surgery nursing – known as weight loss surgery. While youngest daughter Victoria is in a slightly different role – she has worked as a qualified occupational therapist since 2020, working closely with diabetes, cardiology and haematology patients.
But 2022 marks the last year that the four will work together as mum Chris is set to retire later in the year, looking to spend more time with her grandchildren and at her apartment in Majorca.
However, the four are proud to be a close-knit family, outside of work as well as in. At work, the family of nurses meet up for coffees whenever their breaks coincide. At home, the four regularly get together.