Maureen Cabey- Lee, Senior Staff Nurse, UK
My career path was chosen by the almighty
Tell me anything about yourself
I am an independent, ambitious and driven mother of four; three handsome boys and a beautiful princess.
I am from the village of Long Ground on the beautiful island of Montserrat. I thrive off challenges and constantly set goals for myself, having something to strive towards. I am not comfortable with settling, and I’m always looking for an opportunity to do better in achieving greatness.
My educational journey started at the Bethel Primary school, then moving on to the Montserrat Junior Secondary School and Montserrat Secondary School. My nursing career started in 1984 at the Glendon Hospital.
In 2009 I migrated to the United Kingdom, attended Westminster Kingsway College, achieved a Diploma in Access to Nursing and then the University of Hertfordshire where I completed my Bsc in Adult Nursing.
After completion of my nursing course, I started working at NHS North Middlesex Hospital Stroke Unit. From 2017 to present I am now a Senior staff nurse at the Wellington Hospital Neuro Rehabilitation Unit.
How would you describe your immediate family
I consider my dad, siblings and children to be my immediate family members. We are a family with our fair share of challenges, not perfect, but can weather any storm.
We love each other which is the most important thing.
What does your name mean and do you think you live up to it
The name Maureen means: Wished for child; Rebellion; Of The Sea or Bitter. Christian reverence for the Virgin Mary.
A grownup woman accepts that life does not always go her way. The bitter woman does not. She marinates in her victim hood and anger, making most anyone who crosses her path pay for her disappointment.
In another life what would you come back as
I would come back as the same person I am today, as
I believe I was wonderfully made and created by the creator to fulfil a purpose in life.
Not even my negatives I would change because they also serve a purpose and help to shape my positives. I wouldn’t alter my flaws as they also serve a purpose and help to shape my good attributes.
What is your favourite animal
Not sure I have a favourite animal but will settle for a cat.
Tell me something that scares you
Snakes! I swear I would die if I suddenly came upon a snake.
When do you normally feel your happiest
I feel my happiest when I am with my children. My desire is to be with my four children and grandchildren in a huge house, with a big backyard, relaxing and having conversations that cause me to smile.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety
It is very difficult for me to deal with stress and anxiety. I try by giving my self some alone time to pray and process what I’m feeling.
How do you celebrate your achievements
By sharing the news with genuine friends and family.
At this present time my intention would be to use a platform and educate individuals about the danger of this pandemic Covid 19, as I was a victim of this horrible virus.
What made you decide to start your profession
At the tender age of eight, my mom took ill and passed away. Very soon after my mom passing, my dad took ill. This gave me a drive to become a healthcare professional and make a difference in the lives of others by becoming a nurse and working as part of a team to save lives.
What do you love about your role
At present as a senior staff nurse, I love to work as part of a team to provide a safe, effective and efficient care environment for patients, relatives and carers. Also, I have an important role in providing clinical leadership to the team to ensure patients in the ward receive high quality care.
What are the typical challenges you face in your role
As my role comes with managerial responsibility, I face challenges such as delegation with staff shortage, long working hours, workplace hazards, violence, disrespect, bullying, harassment and racism.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years
I see myself gaining advanced clinical skills and gradually acquiring more responsibilities as opportunities present themselves. My work place is known for developing staff and I have always loved teaching others. I would love to be a preceptor in the future.
Would you have done anything differently in your career path
My career path was chosen by the almighty, the most high God, there’s nothing I would change.
Do you have any pearl of wisdom you wish to share
“ If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do, you have to keep moving forward.”
(Martin Luther King).
Finally this is the moment to shout out to a few people who have really encouraged, supported or even taking a gamble on you to allow your current success
To my four children a massive thank you for the encouragement throughout my journey. Especially my princess Rudelle, when I wanted to give in, when the road was rough she was my back bone and always told me never to give in. I can do it.
She was only 10 years old when she gave me those words of encouragement.
How can the skills you’ve acquired help to benefit Montserrat
After completion of my Adult Nursing training, I started working at the North Middlesex Hospital Stroke Unit and was given the opportunity to work and understand taking care of stroke patients.
A year later, I saw an upward path in joining the Wellington Hospital Neuro Rehabilitation Unit. Using the skills I’ve acquired from both past and present job roles I can assist my beautiful island in a specialist capacity, both as a practitioner and teacher.
What can we look forward to next from you
Continued education, completion of a Dementia care course and imparting my knowledge gained to my people back home.
What is the best thing about Montserrat
The best thing about my beautiful Montserrat is that there is no other place on planet earth as this peaceful gem. The friendly resilient spirited people, tranquility and the fresh breath of air.
What do you look forward to when going to Montserrat
I look forward to coming off that ferry and seeing familiar faces waiting to greet me. It fills me with joy and happiness, especially. Also, socializing with my people and feeling this sense of belonging.
What is your favourite place to eat and favourite thing to eat when you are in Montserrat
My favourite place to eat is at Timeout Bar and Grill Little bay and my favourite food is jerk pork from Lyn on the main road at Carr’s Bay.
Name a person in Montserrat History you see as an inspiration/role model.
Nurse Icilda Stanley. Ms Stanley has been a role model in my life from the beginning of my nursing career until present. She has taught me how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination, and compassion.
The characteristics that I exemplify today in my professional career have been moulded into me starting with Nurse Stanley. Some of these characteristics are ; Hard work, Trust,Respect, Persistence and Integrity.
She has been in my corner from the start of my profession in Plymouth, St. Johns and now here in the United Kingdom.
Even when I wanted to give up and thought I couldn’t do it she stood by my side and encouraged me along my journey.
Her words were “you can do it just like anyone else.”
Back home in Montserrat she was a mom, teacher, colleague, boss, my midwife for all 4 of my children, a confidant and the list extends. At times she was very tough on me but it was sincere and meaningful. I admire this lady. Thank you Icilda Stanley.
What would you love to see for Montserrat in 10 years
In the next 10 years, I would be happy if I can see my beautiful island have in place a hospital or healthcare that can limit the travelling of our patients for healthcare outside of our country. Also, trained staff with well equipped facilities.
Give me your aspirational date of when you think Montserrat will be independent if ever
Good question. Keeping an open mind but I doubt it will happen in my lifetime.
Tell me one thing Montserrat can do to encourage you to come home
At present, a better healthcare system with a well-equipped hospital and facilities to treat complex cases so natives wouldn’t have to resort to flying overseas to be treated.
When you think of Montserrat how does it make you feel
Sometimes a sense of joy and happiness and at times sadness in the sense that I want to be home but unable to do so due to circumstances.