I work as a Practice Development Nurse in the Acute Assessment Unit (AAU) at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. I came to London from Ireland when I was 17 and have been here ever since. My work experience as a pupil, looking after a patient, inspired me to start my nurse training.
AAU has 54 beds with nine level one/level two patients in a high dependency area. My role is teaching and assessing on a 1:1 basis with nurses, health care assistants and medical students, both on the ward/unit and in the classroom. I also help develop competencies for the ward area, was involved in the development of electronic observations and have written workbooks on certain topics, including sepsis, to assist and help staff. Providing education and increased skills is so important and makes nurses feel valued.
Nursing is about caring for people
I love my role and I work with a brilliant team – we are all supportive of each other. I’ve made many friends over the years and my patients give me great feedback. Nursing is essentially about caring for people, among other things, but I get great job satisfaction seeing someone who has been extremely unwell get better and knowing I’ve played a part in their recovery.
If you want to work as part of a big team in caring for people then nursing is a great career, although we are under a huge amount of pressure as we are understaffed and overworked. I’ve seen many people move out of London and lots of experienced nurses leave the profession which has a knock on effect in terms of skill mix. Maybe we are on the cusp of a nursing crisis, but I couldn’t imagine doing anything else!
Finally, I love being a nurse because: I love helping patients – talking to them, putting a smile of their faces, making them comfortable and assisting them with their recovery.