Over the years, my career as a Staff Nurse has led me to work in a variety of different healthcare settings. As many people will be aware the Pandemic has had such a knock-on effect on the NHS but also Private healthcare. At the height of COVID-19 I was working in a nursing home; it was a challenge supporting the residents who had not seen their loved ones for such a long time. Sadly, I did see an increase in mental health issues and isolation, but I was glad to be able to be there for the residents and give close support.
Currently, I work in a private hospital looking after people following surgical procedures. After moving on from the nursing home I reflected on how I wished to continue supporting with the pandemic and decided to apply to the National Vaccine Programme. Shockingly, it took me eight months to go through the pre-employment checks even though I required no additional training. However, once I was finally there, I felt a great sense of achievement and enjoyed being on the ‘front line’.
Working alongside the RAF and a wealth of healthcare professionals from a range of different sectors was a new experience for me and something that I don’t think I will forget. Since the beginning of 2022 I have not been required to work at my local vaccine centre in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire. This was a surprise to me as at the time just over half of the population had chosen to come forward for a third dose booster. I have colleagues and friends who have been deployed to ITU at St Thomas’ Hospital, where I worked a number of years ago, so I know first-hand that the patients admitted with serious COVID-19 health concerns are, on the whole, unvaccinated.
I am interested to see how things will play out for us all over the next few years. Hopefully the government and the rest of the nation will pay more attention to the serious concerns with staffing levels in healthcare. As of September 2021, there were 39,813 nurse vacancies across the health service and, in my opinion, this is not sustainable. If you or someone you know is interested in a career in healthcare, please don’t let this figure put you off as it is a wonderfully fulfilling career and the possibilities for progression are endless.