As part of International Nurses Day (12th May) Hannah Jones, Community Staff Nurse at Care Plus Group shines a spotlight community nursing.
TYPICAL DAY FOR ME AS A BAND 5 COMMUNITY NURSE
My role is so diverse; on any given day I could be administering insulin; changing catheters; managing leg ulcers to supporting families and patients through palliative care. One day is never the same; a lot of the work is on my own, but I also work alongside a great team of professionals to deliver high quality care such as social workers; occupational therapists, physios and specialist nurses to name a few.
I love the varied work and it inspires me every day I wouldn’t do anything else.
MY PROUDEST MOMENT SO FAR
This was gaining my Queens Nurse award in 2018. I never thought I would be successful and when I received the envelope through the post with my acceptance letter I was over the moon. To realise that my role and dedication had been recognised was amazing. Going to London to the ceremony and meeting Stephen McGann who presented my award was the icing on the cake; it was the most memorable and exciting part of my career so far and I have never been prouder to be part of such an amazing organisation.
WHAT SKILL SET WOULD I EXPECT A STUDENT TO BRING TO COMMUNITY NURSING
A willingness to learn; this is crucial as you will see so many varied things and experience a wide range of cases and willing to be open to different ways of working is essential. Nursing in the home is very different to hospital and quite a learning curve. Good communication is also essential and the ability to listen; nursing isn’t just about the practical, it’s about the personal and emotional side; it’s learning to see the person as a whole; and finally, a smile! This is the simplest language in the world!
WHAT DO I WISH I’D HAVE KNOWN BEFORE STARTING COMMUNITY NURSING
How different it is! One day is never the same; I never realised how skilled community nurses were and I wish I had been told it was so diverse. Most of my mentors in the hospital told me it was all leg ulcers and cups of tea! This is far from the truth! I wish I’d known I would sometimes be expected to be social worker; specialist nurse; advocate; carer and emotional support all in one some days; and the last one that I’d need to have a cast iron bladder!
MY ADVICE FOR AN ASPIRING NURSE
Keep at it; some days it may seem never ending or that the world is against you but remember you make a difference. If this past year has taught us anything it is how valuable and appreciated nurses are by the public; we make a difference every single day; some days just by a smile or a cup of tea. We go to the darkest places with people and to the most special also. Keep working hard; don’t give up; the world of nursing is right there for the taking and you couldn’t be more needed.