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Ali Galling is the registered manager of a residential care home. From the age of 14 Ali wanted to be a nurse and had never considered doing anything else. Here Ali shares the story of her varied career across the health and care sector.

Hi, I’m Ali.

I’d always wanted to be a nurse for as long as I can remember. I started my training after I left school and eventually became a fully qualified nurse. Over time, I progressed by working my way up from staff nurse, to ward manager and then became a matron. I have worked in a range of different settings and loved every role. I used to go to work each day and berate myself for feeling so happy and excited by my job; I continuously reminded myself that this was a job and I couldn’t believe that I enjoyed it so much!

A chance to rekindle my passion.

I decided to take a break from nursing when I had my family and took time out to care for my three children. As my children grew older I decided to rekindle my passion for nursing and completed a Return to Practice course. I started a different role in dialysis thus gaining a new skill. All of which, I thoroughly enjoyed.

A change of direction.

Some years later, due to a change in personal circumstances, I made the decision to move into social care. After working in health my entire career, this was a huge decision to make and a big change for me. I took on the challenging role of registered manager in a local residential care home.

Two years on I absolutely love my job; it’s rewarding and fulfilling and every day brings something different. In my day to day role, one minute I will be chatting to residents and the next I will be liaising with GP’s and pharmacists. We have regular fun and engaging activities which includes anything from staff bringing in their children to interact with residents, to home visits by donkeys from the local donkey sanctuary! It’s all about making the home a happy environment for all the residents.

A good work-life balance is key.

One of the most important parts of my role is supporting my staff team; a good work-life balance is key. All the team are caring and compassionate which is absolutely essential for this role, and we all treat each other with respect and kindness. I am also keen to develop the team; all staff have specialist areas that are of particular interest to them as well as being qualified to, or working towards, a level three qualification in health and social care. This has not only helped individuals to progress their career, but also increased their confidence.

One of the most significant things I’ve learnt in my varied career across health and care is that both are as important as each other and both offer varied and fulfilling roles. Whatever you choose to do in health and care the rewards are plentiful. Every day I see the small things that really matter and make a difference, which is what makes this such a rewarding career.

If you are interested in starting a career in care and health, search current job vacancies.