Home   Medway   News   Article

Porter at Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham, shortlisted for award

A hospital porter who comes in to cheer people up on her days off has been nominated for a prestigious prize.

Shannon O’Kane is the latest healthcare worker to be shortlisted for the Hospital Hero category of Medway Maritime’s Star Awards.

Hospital Hero finalist Shannon O'Kane
Hospital Hero finalist Shannon O'Kane

The 20-year-old began her role as a general porter a year ago after being encouraged by a friend.

She said: “I’m a people person - I just love being around people, talking with them and interacting with everyone.

“I actually get bored at home which is a bit sad – I have days off and want to be here so I come in sometimes and sit with people.

“Even if it’s just five minutes, I could just cheer someone up from the worst situation they could be in - especially in A&E.”

The Gillingham resident hopes her role will allow her to progress into other opportunities at the hospital.

“I’ve learnt so many different things – people don’t realise how much a porter actually does in a hospital.

“It’s definitely forgotten about and we are underrated in a sense.”

Shannon’s day-to-day duties include a mix of clinical and non-clinical tasks, including handling equipment, specimens and oxygen.

She also attends cardiac arrests which could take hours.

“We also deal with the mortuary which is a very hard job and I don’t think people realise what we actually do.

Shannon says she sometimes comes in on her days off to cheer patients up
Shannon says she sometimes comes in on her days off to cheer patients up

“I do a lot of overtime but it’s because I love what I do.”

Speaking to KentOnline, she said she had to ask her manager three times if her nomination was correct.

“I don’t know where it has come from, I mean I speak to so many people in a day.

“I’ll walk someone from one end of the hospital to the other and we can have the most random conversations and that’s clearly had an impact on someone.”

And on the chance of winning, she added: “It would stick with me for life.”

The five Hospital Hero finalists at Medway Maritime Hospital
The five Hospital Hero finalists at Medway Maritime Hospital

Last Thursday we revealed our third finalist, Michelle Fitzpatrick who was recognised for her empathetic approach to Intensive Care Unit patients and families.

Earlier, we shared how fellow nominee Dr Saadia Shah, a gynaecologist, stepped in after her shift ended to save a mother’s life.

The week before we told the story of nominee Emily Brown, who is the world’s first hospital-based namaste care practitioner.

The winner will be announced at a special ceremony on June 13.

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More