Originally from The Philippines, Tess Fuentes moved to the UK in 2002 and started working at Sanctuary Care’s The Rosary Nursing Home in Bridgwater at the age of 25. 15 years on, having progressed from newly qualified nurse to deputy manager of the home, Tess is an example to all young nurses that perseverance and dedication pays off.
Before moving to the UK, Tess worked in a hospital as a ward nurse. She decided to move to the UK because there were greater nursing opportunities over here.
After Tess joined The Rosary, Sanctuary Care hired two other senior carers – they all lived together for seven years and one of them – Paul Fuentes - is now Tess’ husband! Tess says Paul is very proud of how she has progressed.
When the role for deputy manager became available in June last year, home manager Natali encouraged Tess to apply. Natali says Tess is always positive and strong and is a natural candidate for progression.
She says: “Tess is a natural leader. She is very strong, determined, loyal, and together we have a collective vision for the home where residents are always at the centre of everything we do.”
Natali says Tess always uses her initiative. She is direct and decisive and always seems to know the best course of action to take. Tess was initially reluctant to take on the role because she thought she wouldn’t get to spend as much time with the residents. However, she combines her nursing skills and passion for care with her natural ability to lead.
Her natural flare for leadership is obvious when you see how supportive she is of new staff. From the moment they join the home, Tess makes sure they feel valued and appreciated. Throughout their induction period she is always there to mentor people and ensure they never feel overwhelmed. She knows how to make people feel part of a team. The way she supports new staff filters through to the rest of the staff who share the same warmth and kindness.
Today Tess balances her managerial responsibilities with her nursing responsibilities seamlessly and is still just as involved with the residents as she was 15 years ago, which is why she came to Sanctuary Care in the first place.