I qualified as a children’s nurse last September and having previously completed a placement at The Children’s Trust, I knew immediately that this is where I had to be. I love being able to support, encourage and look after our children and young people whilst working in a fantastic team.
I am based on one of our residential houses and each day can be very different - from administering lots of medications (oral, jej, gastro, IV, PR), to helping the children with their personal care needs and getting them ready for school. As well as the varied clinical tasks that take place throughout the day, there is also a focus on making sure the children and young people are having fun!
Being able to work with children and young people with brain injury and neurodisability is incredibly rewarding. However, it can be emotionally difficult at times which is why it is so important to have a great team around you, and supportive management.
Coping in a global crisis
COVID-19 has meant that some of our most vulnerable children are being shielded, this means that they are confined to their rooms in order to protect them from the virus – this means that staff working with them 1:1 have to come up with lots inventive ways to make sure that the children and young people still have lots of fun!
Due to our children and young people being particularly vulnerable, all staff have to be incredibly vigilant. Anyone showing signs of symptoms, must self-isolate until their test results are confirmed. This has led to smaller teams on shift, which can be difficult, and exhausting at times.
We also have to wear PPE which can be challenging for some of the children who rely on facial expressions to understand. Isolation has also meant that parents and carers are sometimes unable to visit which is very hard for the children and young people, but we make good use of technology to ensure that families can still have regular contact.
Advice for aspiring nurses
I love being a nurse and even though it can be hard, especially during this global pandemic, it is so incredibly rewarding. There is always a new challenge or a new skill to develop and if you love learning this is definitely the profession for you. Difficult times may lay ahead, but I’ve never felt more sure that being a nurse is exactly what I’m supposed to be doing. University can be hard and there is always a lot of coursework and exams to do, but it’s all worth it in the end!