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I take pride in looking after patients who could be going through the hardest time of their lives. I work on a female respiratory ward and there, the health care environment can feel alien.

Patients who struggle to breathe can become very anxious. I listen to them and encourage them to talk about their experiences, empathising, and helping them find the solutions themselves. The patient is often the expert in what they need.

I’ve learnt it’s the small things that can make such a difference to a person’s life. Listening for an extra minute might be all a patient needs on some days to feel better.

It’s the small things that can make such a difference to a person’s life

For me, the hardest part is when you’ve worked hard as a team and as an individual, but the patient doesn’t respond to treatment and their health deteriorates. In those moments I just feel awful as working as a team you do everything you can to empower the patient and aid their recovery. 

I care and I’m compassionate and I’m doing all I can not to lose this but there’s a delicate balancing act as we also have to protect our own mental health, especially during a pandemic.

Even though the work can be tough, I love my job. What I do is essential to the nursing team. People on wards look for someone to help them in their time of need and that’s what I do.

My role is given the respect it deserves in my workplace where nursing support workers are recognised for what we do and the crucial contribution we make to patient care and the wider nursing team.

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