Stephanie is a Newcross Nurse based in West Scotland. In her own words, she reflects on her first 6 months with us, which also coincided with the COVID-19 pandemic.
"At the beginning of this year, I felt deflated in my last job as a full-time nurse in a care home. Whilst in that role, I was questioning whether I wanted to be a nurse anymore. I decided to leave and I signed up to start at Newcross, just as the COVID-19 pandemic began. This is the story of how starting at Newcross has rekindled my love for the profession, whilst the challenges of COVID-19 have taught me valuable lessons.
I remember my first Newcross shift. I was so nervous! The first few shifts were like starting a new job. However, shortly I felt my confidence coming back. I worked in a range of beautiful care homes, some small, some large. I also worked in some hospitals and hospices. No matter where I went, I felt welcomed as a Newcross Nurse.
On the 22nd of March, I turned the news on at midnight in a care home. This was when the gravity of the COVID-19 situation struck me as the news reported that care homes were closing to visitors to protect the elderly and vulnerable. At this moment, my role as a nurse became even more important than before. It was my job to reassure residents and their families that everything was going to be OK, so long as we followed the government’s guidelines and maintained strict hygiene standards. As a nurse, you have to put your brave face on and keep going.
As well as supporting residents and families, I knew I would have to expect to manage the death of a resident. I had never experienced the death of someone I was caring for before in my whole career as a nurse. In due course, a death occurred whilst i was on duty and I truly empathised with the resident's family. I spent time to talk them through what happens next, such as registering the death and organising the funeral. I made sure someone would call them the following day. I had read in the care plan that the resident and their family were religious and I made sure that religious symbols were used as they and the resident wanted. The family were so grateful for the little touches; they were astounded that I wasn’t a permanent member of the team and was in fact an agency nurse from Newcross. It was at this emotive moment that I realised I loved nursing again because I saw how much of an impact I could make.
Another thing I’ve really enjoyed about working agency-side instead of in a full-time, permanent position, is that I get to spend more time caring for people and less time doing paperwork. It’s been really beneficial for me to get paid weekly, instead of monthly, and I love how I can work as much as I want for times where I need extra money.
I can’t quite believe how much I’ve learned and how things have changed in just 6 months. One thing’s for sure - I know I made the right decision to leave my old role and start my Newcross journey."
Would you like to be a Newcross nurse? Take a look at our nursing job vacancies today.