Shirley, Registered Nurse
“I work for Guild Care as a Registered Nurse in a residential nursing home. I am responsible for looking after over 50 residents and ensuring their needs are met. I support care colleagues as best I can and role model to help train less experienced staff.
I trained back in 1989 as a registered nurse. Then I specialised in children care at Great Ormond Street and qualified as a Registered Sick Children’s Nurse. I have been nursing for over 30 years and have worked for Guild Care since 2005.
I love finding out more about who the people are that I look after. I like chatting to the residents and laughing with them. Some have had amazing experiences. I also love caring for them, showing empathy and trying to make things better and easier for them.
The best thing about working in a care home setting is the relationships you build with the residents. You get to know them so well and the lives they have led. My shifts are set so I can arrange outside/home stuff around my hours. I know everyone and have built up good working relationships. I like to give person-centred care and in a care home you can find out people’s likes and dislikes.
There are differences between working in a care setting compared to the NHS. You build better relationships. Many residents see you as a friend. You are less pressurised. If you put a lot into it, you get a lot out of the role. You can really give amazing ‘person-centred’ care.
There are some challenges, it can be very busy and demanding. You have to be organised and proactive.
To be a good nurse you need to be cheerful, calm, positive and chatty. In a care home setting you have to remember that this is their home. You have to have good communications skills and be organised. Obviously, you need good clinical skills and it’s vital to keep up to-date with best practice.
Working as a Nurse in the care sector is fulfilling and enriching. You do not lose your skills but you can improve them. Residents need bloods taking, catheters etc. You do not de-skill. You build good friendships with you colleagues.”
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