Clinical Team Leader with CFYP, Thurlow House, King's Lynn
"From quite a young age I knew that I wanted to help and care for people. My mum experienced mental health difficulties during my childhood and I often found that I didn't know what to say or how to help her. I saw her taking different tablets and she would regularly see a mental health nurse, and as time passed mum got a bit better. By this stage I was coming towards the end of my A levels and had started thinking about my career path. I applied for a forensic psychology course and, at the same time, I applied to be a nurse in King's Lynn as I felt some pressure to follow in my brother's footsteps as he was doing really well working as a doctor in London.
"I made a decision to follow the pathway into nursing and I was drawn to mental health. During my nurse training I was fortunate to meet some inspirational mentors, some of whom still work for the Trust; and amazingly I met the nurse who used to care for my mum. She was the type of nurse I wanted to be; she was approachable, down to earth, kind and caring, but firm and very fair. I wanted to be just like her.
"I've never forgotten some of the amazing service users who I met along the way. I found I had the ability to listen and I seemed to be able to say the right things. At times, I was a bit scared and concerned by how unwell the service users were, but at the same time this incentivised me and drove me forwards. I wanted to be part of the treatment and recovery of these people who were suffering so devastatingly.
"It has been 15 years now since I qualified, over which time, I've stayed with the Trust and worked in many different areas and with all age groups. I've continued to progress through the organisation and I'm very proud of what I have achieved and with the kind of nurse that I have grown to be. It hasn't stopped me though, I continue to grow and learn and have been fortunate enough to have the Trust's support to continue with my Masters. Also, having just completed the non-medical nurse prescribing course, I now have the opportunity to further develop my career and have interesting avenues to follow.
"Nursing does not stand still, it never gets boring and it's never predictable. Nurses will always be needed and the opportunities are endless. I have always worked with the premise that the service user always remains at the centre of care and I would not have it any other way."