I’ve been trying to put into words the exact reason why I have left the acute services (A&E, Ambulance, Urgent Care) to move into the slower paced world of community care. After fifteen years of acute services you might think that it is because I have some degree of ‘burn out’, and maybe that is part of it. Perhaps it’s because I am getting older and more worn out and so the ‘easier’ work of a community nurse appeals to me.
I was visiting a member of the In-health team today and she asked me that question, why I am going from a band 7 job to a band 5, and why the sudden change of career.
The answer that I came up with while sitting in her office is perhaps the closest I’ve come to putting my finger on the truth. I told her that while in acute services, I may well be fixing people on the day, in this new job I would be able to help them for much longer and in a deeper fashion.
If you come to me with a broken arm I’ll assess you, x-ray your arm, give you painkillers, put you in a plaster and arrange the follow up appointment – I am unlikely to see you again.
Now I am working for the community, I will be coming into a person’s home on a regular basis and I’ll be able to provide a more in-depth service. If they tell me that they are having trouble with the stairs, I can arrange help with that, if they are feeling depressed, I can refer them to the right people, if I can heal their leg ulcer then that will make a massive difference to their life. Heck – if I can make sure that they always have incontinence pads in stock then that will make them happy. Instead of a rapid response I am better placed to provide care in more depth.
I was often asked what about the worst things I would see on the ambulances – people would expect me to talk about car crashes and dead children. Instead I would surprise them by explaining that the worst things that I saw were the old folks being neglected in nursing homes, or the housebound pensioner whose carers would drop their medication on the floor and not bother picking it up.
By moving to the community I will have more power to change that sort of thing for the better, in part because I am incapable of letting bad care continue.
That and I get more fresh air than working in the hospital.