We often take for granted the incredible work that is undertaken by healthcare professionals on a daily basis. Their selfless compassion and patience for helping others shines even brighter at times like this. In celebration of International nurses day on Tuesday 12th May, we spoke to Charlotte Askew a wonderful Margate based community nurse and mother, to ask her all about the job and how she came to be a nurse.
Hi Charlotte, I suppose we should start by asking how long you've been a nurse and which type of nursing do you practice?
I will have been a qualified nurse two years In September. I'm currently a Community Nurse, prior to this I worked on an acute medical ward for the elderly.
Did you always know you wanted to work in nursing?
Yes I believe I had. I enjoyed going in the hospital as a child which I suppose is quite strange really! I didn't find it a frightening place. I left sixth form and undertook my nursing degree but I had to withdraw during my second year due to unforeseen circumstances, knowing that eventually I would start my degree again. After leaving university I worked as a health care assistant and always aspired to progress to a nurse. Eventually I started my nursing degree again in 2015.
So you've always worked in healthcare, what's the most rewarding part of your job?
I think the most rewarding and privileged aspect of my job is being part of an individuals journey and the feeling that you’ve made a difference in the community.
Are there any other nurses or medical professionals you've worked with that have really inspired you?
Most definitely, during my training I worked with mentors everyday who massively inspired me. The amazing nurses that are by your side throughout your training have a hug impact on your own practices and the way you handle the job.
You're recently a new mother, do you find it difficult to separate your work from your personal life?
As you progress through your nursing career, you teach yourself about personal reflection and how not to dwell on things. This helps to lock away any troubling thoughts whilst your at home. There are definitely days when thinking about the job at home seems to be prevalent than others but my one year old keeps me nice and busy!
It's an unavoidable subject but one we feel that people would like to know, how has your job changed during the covid-19 outbreak?
I think wearing PPE with every patient, although essential, has proven a challenging barrier, our non-verbal communication is now difficult to portray. Some patients find it difficult to hear what I am saying due to my mask and they can't see that I'm smiling at them, which is sad, I only hope they can see that my eyes are smiling. Altogether it has been and still is a very worrying time. Distressing for the health and safety of our patients, families, colleagues and yourself. We can only hope that people continue to follow the government guidelines and maintain an overzealous hygiene regime, in order to limit the spread of the virus.
We're so thankful for all of the hard work you've contributed during the outbreak and beyond. Is there any advice that you would give aspiring nurses or young individuals looking to become healthcare professionals?
Reflect on the positives, always be kind to yourself and never be afraid to ask questions, I asked so many when I was training and I still ask questions now! You'll never stop learning as a nurse, which is one of the most wonderful parts.
Nursing is an incredibly tough but rewarding job, we'd like to thank Charlotte and many like her for their work. We're so lucky to benefit from an accessible health service in the UK and know that patients in other countries are not so privileged, you can make a difference by donating to charities such as The Florence Nightingale Foundation who provide scholarships for aspiring nurses and help on the frontline.
Follow us on Instagram @artisansandadventurers on Saturday 9th May where we will be giving away a special gift hamper to one lucky nurse. All you have to do is make sure you're following us, then comment on the competition post tagging your nurse nomination and a brief explanation of why you've nominated them. The winner will be randomly selected on International Nurses Day, Tuesday 12th May 2020. Good Luck!