International Nurses Day – Nicole

“A lot of what we do is focused on prevention, counselling and being non-judgemental – prison nursing is truly about care and compassion.” – Nicole, Registered General Nurse

My role as a nurse within a secure environment is very hands-on. I help to run a fully functioning medical centre that operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. One day I could be dealing with cuts and bruises, the next a heart attack. Daily, I allocate medication and also run a triage service for patients. I am also on emergency first response, which means that I could get called to a serious incident at any time.

At the age of 29, I gave up a full time job to study to become a nurse. It took me three years to qualify but it was definitely worth the hard work.

I’m proud of my skills, through working in A&E and within a secure environment, I have gained many transferable skills which help me to offer a great deal of support and ultimately to save lives.

What do I love about my job?

I work with a lot of vulnerable people and it’s very hard to comprehend some of the complex problems that our patients have – you really have to think on your feet to deal with some of the day-to-day challenges that we face. But this is where I get job satisfaction. It’s not just about nursing but an individual’s wellbeing. A lot of what we do is focused on prevention, counselling and being non-judgemental.

Proudest moment: Aside from qualifying after three tough years I would have to say saving a patient’s life!

What nursing means to me: For me nursing is simply about helping people regardless of what their problem is. It helps me to show empathy, to care and to make a difference. It’s about saving people’s lives.

Advice to anyone who wants a career in nursing? Nursing isn’t for the faint hearted, so I would recommend that an individual gets as much experience as possible to get a good grounding. For nursing you need to genuinely care about what you do, be non-judgemental and ultimately treat a person how you would expect and hope to be treated yourself.

You need to be hard-working dedicated and open to anything – but believe me it’s definitely worthwhile.

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