After taking some time off in 2018 to look after my dear aunt, a retired nurse, I experienced a difficult period of almost a year without a job. This period had led me to have real doubts that I would ever have a fulfilling post again. They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks and I had become very despondent, failing a drug calculation test for entry to the large teaching hospital on my doorstep. I began to feel very low.
Then I saw an advert for an RCN-accredited course titled ‘An introduction to Practice Nursing’. I thought this course would be interesting and provide me with new skills and learning opportunities, as well as the potential to practice in a new speciality for another chapter of my nursing career. The Course fee however was very costly in my current unemployed state. As you can imagine, I was reassured to know that I could apply to the League Scholarship Fund. I was awarded the full sum which was an enormous support. I felt really uplifted by participating in the 2-day course.
The following month I was successful in securing a new full-time post with a major retailer that has health clinics in major stores within the UK and I am building on the course work. My job involves vaccinations and medication for travel, occupational health, and personal health cover. There is so much to learn. Travel restrictions are notable, but it is now influenza, pneumonia and Shingles season, so there is plenty to do. Moreover, the company offers a phlebotomy service to those wishing to have the new Covid-19 antibody blood test performed. I would urge you to pursue study in this climate where we may have to return to work after career breaks or want the challenge of a new speciality to work in.
As I read about the history of Barts Nurses League from Isla Stewart to Dame Margot Turner, Helen Gribble and the many other nurses mentioned in the astonishing collection of memories (Barts Nurses Remember) we were sent earlier this year, I feel so privileged to have nursed at St Bartholomews. A huge thank you again, for the educational grant I received in February.