Charlotte Pearson nurses, newly qualified nurses
Vetro Recruitment have recently expanded to include nursing within the range of jobs we recruit for. Vetro Nursing has also received its CSSIW registration. This is an exciting development for organisation as Vetro Nursing now joins its Care and Education divisions. If you have training and experience in these areas and are looking for work, do get in touch with the team.
To mark this expansion, I wanted to share with you an interview I carried out recently with a newly qualified nurse. This person trained as a nurse after having five children, something she always wanted to do. I hope you enjoy reading about her journey and her take on nurse training.
Have you always wanted to be a nurse? Can you tell us a bit about your journey?
I’ve always wanted to be a nurse ever since I was a little girl. My father passed away when I was 6 and I remember quite well, the nurses looking after him in the lead up to his death. I just thought that is exactly what I want to do when I grow up.
Then in 2008 my son contracted meningitis and once again I witnessed amazing care from the nurses to help him get through and back to health. I was in awe of their compassion. I realised at that point it was time for me to start the training process.
What has been the best and the worst part of your training?
The best part of my training has been witnessing the courage of the patients when they are at their most vulnerable. I have felt privileged to be able to care for them and gain their trust, and also that of their loved ones.
The worst part was witnessing the death of a child and a young woman of my age. Nothing ever prepares you for that and I will remember it as long as I live.
Also trying to juggle everything and accepting that a once tidy house is an impossibility during nurse training. It has been really hard with having five children, but being a close family we have supported each other and as they are getting older now, they have helped out a lot!!
What was your favourite placement and why?
My best placement was the Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. Their record of outstanding patient care is incredible. They go the extra mile, such as allowing a dying patient the opportunity to have their pet dog being brought into hospital so they can say goodbye. Also, the patients have the chance to take part in new clinical trials that aren’t available elsewhere to buy them extra time or even maybe cure them.
Have you been adequately supported through your training from a professional point of view by supervising colleagues?
I have felt supported in my training the bulk of the time, especially from my university and the majority of the time on the wards. However, sometimes due to staffing issues on some days I have just had to be an extra pair of hands taking on Health Care Assistant Duties, instead of having the time to continue with clinical skills.
My mentors have all been a great support and I have felt I have learnt a lot from their nursing experience and leadership skills.
Obviously, much of the press has been focused around junior doctors recently - have you noticed an impact in the hospital?
When the Junior Doctors went on strike it impacted on patient care greatly. For example, drugs that needed prescribing or blood products that were needed for patients were delayed, which could have had detrimental effects to the patients who were in need. We had to rely on consultants who were not really around much and weren’t in the know like the Junior Doctors who knew their patients extremely well.
Do you feel that nurses are given enough credit for the work they do?
I think that nurses do get credit from a patient point of view and are appreciated by patients. However, the media don’t appreciate how hard nurses work and challenges they face. As nurses work as part of a multi-disciplinary team, when things go wrong the nurses get the finger pointed at them instead of what went wrong within the team as a whole. For every one bad story that gets portrayed in the press, there are a million other good ones that get unnoticed. Nurses have to work so hard to keep on the Nursing and Midwifery Council Register. For example regarding validation, practising so many hours every year, writing reflections, having patient feedback and keeping their skills up to scratch every year. Not only that, paying £150 a year to stay on the register as a professional.
Which area of nursing will you be going into on qualification? How do you feel about that?
I have recently been offered a job on a respiratory ward. It is an area I am interested in and feel that I will able to develop my skills and confidence there due to its variety of patients.
It’s very medical based so I will see patients with a number of co-morbidities, especially in the elderly.
What do you think are the key challenges for nurses in the UK?
The key challenges for nurses in the UK in the near future are the ageing population. As people are living longer, they often have a lot more health issues. Since the closure of small cottage hospitals that housed a lot of the elderly, more and more beds are being "blocked" so to speak by elderly patients waiting for intermediate care beds. This puts pressure on nursing staff to speed up the care delivery process and discharge them onto the right place. You could argue that patient care could be hindered. With the threat of nursing jobs cut looming this is going to be an added worry on the wards. How are the nurses going to give good patient care to people with co-morbidities when there are staff ratios of 1 nurse to 12/14 patients, and still speed up the discharge process?
Now you have reached the end of your training do you feel adequately prepared for your role as a nurse? Is there anything about the training that could be improved?
I feel as prepared as I can be in being newly qualified. I feel I’ve had a good insight and a mixture of experiences that have shaped me into being the sort of nurse I want to be. I feel I have learned the relevant skills to enable me to be a nurse, but one thing you can never learn is compassion. I think that is the most important quality I have and will continue to have as I nurse my patient.
The training could be improved by spending more time on the wards instead of in the classroom.
Do you think nursing will always be your profession now?
I will always be a nurse. I feel it is a profession of privilege and an honour to be a part of someone’s life when they are feeling so vulnerable. The day I stop giving compassionate care is the day I stop being a nurse because I feel there is no room in nursing without it.
Do you have any advice for people considering nursing as a career?
My advice for someone entering the profession doesn't get bogged down by politics and remember why you are there. For your patient. Treat them as if they were one of your own loved ones, or not at all.
If you are a Newly Qualified Nurse looking for work, please give us a call, we have lots of Temporary and Permanent positions in South Wales.
As part of National Nursing Week, Vetro Recruitment will be holding an open house event for Nurses on 15th to 19th May. Why not come in for a coffee, meet Julie Connick (RGN RSCN), our Registered Nurse Manager and the rest of the team. We can support you to find a job you want or gain some additional money by working as an agency nurse.