Meet Amy, a registered nurse working in Exeter. Find out more about her journey into nursing and why she thinks it’s a really special job.
How has COVID-19 affected your role?
Working in Haematology means that my role hasn’t been affected too much as we’re quite separate from the rest of the hospital. We aren’t able to see as many patients at the moment for safety reasons, although as lockdown restrictions ease the numbers are going up again. We also have to wear PPE now including a mask all shift – which is really different.
A hard part of the situation has been that patients weren’t allowed visitors. Seeing people go through difficult times, without their families by their side, was really sad.
I wanted to help people.
Often, I think it can feel like you have to decide really early what you want to do but I was never sure. Most of my early life I actually wanted to be a police officer, but when I dropped out of university and they weren’t hiring, I stopped to think about what I really wanted to do. I just knew that I wanted to help people.
My mum was a nurse and my dad a doctor, so nursing was always something I’d considered. I didn’t enjoy science at school though so I had always thought I wouldn’t be able to do it. After working in a care home to get experience of caring for people I got into Plymouth University to study Nursing. Although it was hard work because I hadn’t done the right A-levels, I didn’t need to retake any courses before I went.
I enjoy the fast-paced and challenging environments.
When I qualified, I started in Coronary Care which is like Intensive Care for patients with heart problems. It was very acute, highly skilled work in quite a fast-paced environment, which I really enjoyed.
I then moved to Haematology, which is when I am now. We have a ward and a day unit where we treat people as outpatients. In my role I treat people who need chemotherapy, blood and platelet transfusions, antibiotics and IV infusions. Being a people person is a really important part of being a nurse because you have to build good relationships with lots of different professionals and patients.
I want to move into Intensive Care as I like the fast-paced environment and think I’d enjoy the different challenges. It would also mean I could do more training in different areas, like how to manage airways and arterial lines. I always want to get better and keep learning new skills and nursing is a great job for that.
I wanted to do something that made an impact on other people’s lives.
I wanted to do something that made an impact on other people’s lives. I go into work every day hoping to make someone’s day better and I feel that my experiences in the hospital have changed my life.
My favourite bit of my current role is being able to build amazing relationships with my patients. There is something really special about being able to be with them and help them on their journey – it makes it even more rewarding.
The long shifts are definitely hard work! I often think that I’ve had enough of them but knowing that you have helped someone, saved their life or even just improved their day is enough to make any bad shift worth it.
Anyone who is thinking about it should go for it!
Nursing can take you in so many different directions so it’s impossible to not to find something that suits you. I would encourage anyone who is thinking about it, to go for it!
Volunteering, either in a hospital or care home, is a really good way to get started. It will give you a taste of what working in those environments and with people is like.
If you’re interested in a career in health and social care, visit our careers page.