How long have you been a nurse?
I qualified in 1990 and I started my training in 1987, so 31 years! I have always been a nurse in Somerset, never anywhere else. In different teams such as the diabetes teams, but in general practice since 2007.
What’s the nicest part of your job?
The variety. I love not knowing what I’m going to come in and see. I love the fact it’s so different and varied. I like that every patient is different and the challenges I’m faced with every day. The beauty of primary care is that I might have set appointments but I have time.
What’s the hardest part about being a nurse?
I think in primary care the NHS is run by a lot of love. I think sometimes you just don’t have enough time, the problems they’re having in secondary care means you get the backwash come back to primary care. It’s so different even to four years ago. I enjoy it, I like that it’s a familial thing. You see people all the time, you see their aunties, their grannies, their kids, mums, dads, everyone. You build up a really good relationship with them. It’s sometimes hard living and working in the same place because you tend to see people on the street, but as long as you keep everything separate it’s not normally an issue.
From a mental health point of view, I think that is one of the biggest problems, not just in Somerset but in the whole of the UK. Mental health with children, adults, anybody… there’s just not enough mental health resources. So it’s really difficult. Everyone is under pressure, not just the doctors or the hospitals but the patients themselves.