Tell us about the role?
The Trainee Nursing Associate role has been introduced to try and bridge the gap between health care assistants and registered nurses. To start with it was rolled out across hospitals but they’ve now brought it into GP Surgery. And I transferred from hospital to GP.
What are the key differences?
The level of support here is completely different. Because NHS Trust hospitals are so big, so busy and so short-staffed (everywhere is) and under so much more pressure I found it difficult to find the level of education that I needed within my role. So I came here on placement for a week, then stayed. The reason I came here is because it’s so broad, there’s such a huge variety of people and patients, the conditions that I’ve learnt about already and the support from everybody – nurses and doctors, nurse practitioners, receptionists. I feel like I’m part of the team and I feel like I’ve got new confidence in my role because I’m not just a trainee. I’m seeing my own patients and making my own decisions. But I also know I can knock on anyone’s door if I’m unsure about anything. It’s really nice.
What’s your life like in Somerset?
I really really like living here because there are areas you can choose to live if you want to be more rural or live in the centre of town. The reason I like living in town is because it’s a great community. I feel safer when my kids are out and about on their own – everyone keeps an eye out for them. The nice thing I think about working in a GP practice is that you get to know people more – you build up a trust and they tell you more things that they might not tell you if they had only just met you. Being in a smaller place like Bridgwater rather than a big city is what makes that happen, it’s really nice.
We get a lot of people coming in to speak to the nursing staff who need to speak about things like type 2 diabetes with people who know they need to make some lifestyle changes but the doctors might not necessarily have a huge amount of time to spend with them talking through that. Whereas we do have the time and so being a nurse in a GP practice is great for that reason because you can build up that bond over a long period of time and then leave the very complex stuff to the doctors.