My leap of faith - do you need to jump ?

A year ago today, I left my job as a Ward sister on the Trauma Unit at Treliske!

I miss my old work buddies, but I have absolutely no regrets.

I was the manager of a large Trauma Unit, with 90 staff and 54 beds (more beds at times - not bunk beds, but just extended into another ward!) That is the size of a small hospital!

I left for many reasons, some personal, but mostly because I didn’t have time to care, and that saddened me.

My amazing colleagues, nurses, carers, housekeepers, cleaners, all the staff basically, had a really tough time even trying to complete their basic, daily tasks and that was hard . As a manager, I needed to be able to fix it for my staff and although we tried, there were too many hurdles. Not enough money, not enough staff, not enough time, not enough resources.

Trauma and Orthopaedic nursing is different, you have to be resilient. I worked in Trauma and Orthopaedics since I qualified in 1987 (now I’m showing my age!). It’s really tough, there is NO let up. From the moment you are on duty, until the moment that you finish, you don’t stop! I won’t go into details, but it’s not for everyone, not anyone can handle it.

There were tough times, sad and desperate, and great times, with excellent teamwork, nursing care, enabling safe recoveries, even peaceful, dignified, deaths. To be able to help someone for a moment, at a time when they needed it most. To be able to talk to a terrified, lonely or frustrated patient and put them at ease, to comfort a dying patient, stroke their face or just hold their hand. To think that it could so easily be your Mum, Dad, Son or Daughter…..

I’m proud to be a nurse. Really proud. I would like to think that I have all those endearing qualities that the best nurses have. Ok, I’m way too soft, soppy and emotional at times but hey, I’m a Virgo too, so there’s no chance of ever changing that.

I started attending a local Zumba class with the Core and very quickly, got the fitness bug and qualified as a fitness instructor. I had always wanted to become a P.E teacher but didn’t fancy the A levels that were suggested!

I started teaching group exercise classes after work and at the weekends and this was how I found myself being offered full time employment at The Core.

I was able to follow my love of fitness, and at the same time, use my nursing skills and knowledge.

I still teach group exercise, but also teach our aging population. This includes balance and stability and falls prevention, clients with long term neurological conditions, carers, dementia groups and many more. I am constantly learning and researching and can honestly say that I love my job, with all my heart. It allows me to practice health and fitness, whilst still being able to look after my clients' needs and use my abilities as a nurse and carer. I can give back, I can care and support, I can laugh with my clients and I can use my skills to help other people. It fulfils me and although the last year has been tough for the business, we have moved mountains. We have seen new movement in affected limbs, clients who have had strokes, walking for the first time in 2 years, new found confidence, friendships and support, whole groups of clients, over 65, all on the floor and getting up safely, the list goes on….

So now I work with a small team, completely bonkers but still professional, dedicated and passionate. We all have the same vision, to help people to make improvements, change lives and enhance wellbeing, whether they are 16 or 96.

I have been given the greatest of opportunities to work within the field of fitness, rehab and health - it’s not my job though, it’s my destiny x