Health Education England Video – Jenny and Lesley return to GP nursing
I first decided that I wanted to become a nurse when I was very young. I went to do some local experience, work experience at the hospital and I found myself washing an old lady’s legs. She wasn’t able to do it herself and I did it for her. And it made her very happy. And I felt that that’s something that I wanted to do. I wanted to make other people happy and do things that they were unable to do for themselves.
I always wanted to be a nurse. Before I even started school, I was always going to work at my dad’s Hospital. I would talk to the nurses at the hospital and I really wanted to follow their footsteps and work in the hospital where my dad worked. So they got me an old staff nurse’s uniform. And it was cut down and made to my size and had a little white pinny and a purple uniform. And I thought I was really something.
The only reason that I stopped was because I fell pregnant and went on maternity leave. I felt that I still had a need to do something to help people. It’s a vocation, nursing. It’s not a career choice and I love the fact that I could do good in other people’s lives.
Coming back was extremely daunting for me. I’d been in a very low place in my personal life and this was an enormous step for me. I had the support of my family, my friends. They were pushing me up the hill and it was quite a hard struggle to begin with. But I got off the train at uni that first day, not knowing anybody else there and we all sat in the room. We all agreed we were in a very similar position. We’d all got families. We’d been out of nursing for various years. Between us no one had been in nursing for the last six years. So we were up to quite a challenge.
Being a mum you don’t get to socialise very much outside the house. And suddenly you meet all these people that all have the same thoughts as you. It was a great feeling.
We had incredible support from the tutor. She was always there on the end of the phone. She mopped me up on several occasions when I was very teary, saying I don’t think I can do this. She chivvied me along. And I got there in the end. And it was great elation when that letter came through the post. I ran three laps around the garden screaming with my children clapping and cheering. And it was a great day. That was a real high after such a lot of lows.
I’m really excited about the thought of running my own baby clinics again. I love seeing the new mums coming in and to be able to protect their children and to give them the right advice and the right injections. And send the mums and the babies away happy. Hopefully. Not crying.
There have been lots of moments where I thought yeah this is why I’ve come back to nursing. I think I’ve made a difference today. I think I’ve really helped somebody. And you go home at the end of the day really feeling quite pleased with yourself.
There’s one lady who particularly stands out. She is an absolute character. She comes in for a dressing twice a week on a chronic wound, but you wouldn’t know she doesn’t let it interfere with her life at all. She’s a very happy lady. She makes everybody laugh from the reception staff through to the nurses. She’s always forgetting her keys. She’s a very smartly dressed woman. And yeah she has us in absolute stitches whenever she comes to the surgery.
To anyone who is thinking about coming back to nursing, especially back to general practice nursing, do it. That’s all I will say. It is such a journey. Such a rewarding journey and it grows all the time. It’s brought so much joy to my life. I’m so glad I came back.
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