- 15 January 2021
- 6 min read
Adult Nursing: My Nursing Career And Why I Still Love It
Adult Nurse, Brenda Walcott, examines her diverse career in Nursing giving examples of what makes Nursing such a rewarding career, and her advice to Newly qualified Nurses.
Topics covered in this article
Qualifying As A Nurse
When my four year Nursing degree course ended in 1998, it felt like I was dreaming.
I was in the queue to receive my award and it felt unreal that the four years had really gone by and that I was successful at the state board exams in my country.
The Nurse Education course in Jamaica included training and practice placements in most major areas of Nursing.
So on qualifying I had practical experience in both paediatric and Adult Nursing, as well as Mental Health Nursing, Orthopaedic, Midwifery, Surgery, Intensive Care, Gerontology and Dermatology.
The taught modules included all these aspects of Nursing and additionally, therapeutic nutrition.
This role involved care of the surgical patient from pre-assessment to post operative care both in the recovery room and on the wards.
The wards also provided medical care for patients with various conditions from uncontrolled diabetes, myasthenia gravis, hypertension and sickle cell crisis.
After six months I rotated to the emergency department of this small hospital where we did the initial assessment and triaged patients who came in with acute asthma, heart attacks, traumatic amputations and other injuries.
After six more months I travelled to England to study midwifery at the University of Brighton where I earned another first degree.
As a pre-registration student I completed the 18 months course and then wrote my dissertation to complete my degree.
Inspired By Midwifery
However it was during my clinical placement as a Nursing Student, on the maternity ward that I felt drawn to this speciality.
My experience as a Midwife caring for women in the process of childbearing from booking them in the antenatal clinics and following them up with screening, education, and support in labour and breastfeeding has been a very special blessing to me.
My Current Role In Community Nursing
My current role is at my local Community Hospital that provides Nursing care in a small inpatient unit that has a capacity of 40 beds.
This hospital is conveniently located within walking distance from home.
Our patients come to us from close by District General Hospitals after an acute illness or surgery that has resulted in physical weakness and some loss of independence.
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And our multidisciplinary team provide continuing Nursing care and rehabilitation.
Among the team members are a GP, Nurse Practitioner/Prescriber, Physiotherapists, Occupational Therapists, Healthcare Assistants, Adult Nurses and house keeping and admin team, a couple of Social Workers and our domestic and kitchen staff.
Our Patients Need Physical Rehabilitation
Most of our patients are older people who sustained a fall and had orthopaedic surgery, or an acute illness and admission to hospital.
Some have just recovered from pneumonia, sepsis, or surgery and just need to regain muscle strength to regain independence and return to the community (in their own home or a nursing/care home.
A few of our patients are younger but have come along a similar pathway to their older counterparts.
Nursing Is A Rewarding Career
I take real pleasure in seeing patient come to us on their stretcher and leave us walking out of the hospital or even in a wheel chair.
It makes my work even more rewarding to me.
Another great part of my job role is listening to the life story of some of the patients.
A recent story that was really impressive was when one of our patients disclosed that he was a world renowned body builder in the 1950s.
Well we googled him (on our phones) and there he was in all his glory.
Wow! I felt new respect for this geriatric patient in his 90s who lived a full life and “did it his way”.
Another time I stayed back after work to be shown a few knitting stitches by one of my patients in her late eighties.
Challenges Of My Nursing Role
On the other side the main challenge in this role is when we have less than the prescribed ratio of staff to patient and things become demanding.
But on the whole I have to say I do look forward to going to work.
However the longer shifts are also a challenge for me due to my health conditions.
I much prefer 8 hour shifts and find it a struggle doing 12 hour shifts.
My Advice To Newly Qualified Nurses
On that note, my next move is to continue adding value to this noble profession by actively promoting Nursing as a great career choice.
And by supporting trainees and Newly Qualified Nurses to give them a firm foundation on which to build their career.
1. Claim your right to be supported, nurtured, mentored and developed to be the best person and Nurse that you can be.
2. Nursing has many niches and specialisms and there is one for you.
One that inspires you and drive you.
3. Always enjoy and embrace your commitment to life long learning.
4. Make your own health and well being a priority.
In other words; look after yourself and be good to yourself and keep a good support network around you.
This will help you to really enjoy your career.
Let me know in the comments your thoughts on working as a Nurse and what I've said about my career - let's chat there!
Oh, and please Like this article to let me know you enjoyed it - thank you!