Image: Obeda Khanam
[Huriyah Quadri | Print Editor]
Nurses play a vital part in our healthcare system. They provide essential services across hospitals, care homes and even schools. University of Hertfordshire’s Zahida Khatoon graduated from her Nursing course in 2015 and is now a nurse at Lister Hospital. Trident Media spoke to Khatoon to find out what nursing life is like behind the scenes and how her time at Herts has contributed towards her career.
TM: When did you decide that nursing was the path for you?
ZK: From a young age, becoming a regular visitor at the hospitals and observing the high standard of care my father was receiving is the point of inspiration for nursing for me.
I wasn’t sure if it was the job for me until I passed the first few placements where I was able to express my knowledge, show my skills and enjoy what I was doing.
TM: What was studying for nursing like?
ZK: Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my three years of studying. It was a rollercoaster ride with a mixture of blood, sweat and tears.
TM: Did what you learned during your time at Herts help you in the real world?
ZK: The knowledge and skills that I gained in the three years of studying at Herts is something to treasure for life. It helps me everyday in the real world!
TM: What do you like about being a nurse?
ZK: The best thing about being a nurse is that I have the opportunity to help every individual that I come across on a daily basis.
TM: If you had to pick one rewarding aspect of your job, what would it be?
ZK: I have the opportunity to bring a smile on people’s faces, comfort them; help bring a ray of light in their lives.
TM: What’s the most difficult part of your job?
ZK: Being short of staff, getting back pain, working very long hours and the stress and demand of very complex care in the rising number of patients on a daily basis.
TM: Describe a typical day.
ZK: A typical day involves starting off with handover, administering medications, assisting with breakfast, making beds, assisting with toileting, doctors’ round, documentation, paperwork, assisting with personal hygiene, chasing other multidisciplinary team members, making referrals, chasing results and investigations, observations, documentation, paperwork, medications, assisting with lunch, admitting patients, discharging, changing dressings, observations documentation, carrying out pre op and post op care between everything, dealing with relatives, booking appointments, preparing patients for theatre medication, assisting with supper, observations, documentation, paperwork and handover to night staff.
TM: Was there anything in particular that you had to do to get your job?
ZK: I had to carry out nine different types of placements, each varying between 4/6/8/12 weeks of practice and achieving a certain number of hours. Getting skills signed off by mentors. The last placement was a management placement where I was assessed for 12 weeks then signed off.
TM: What’s your advice to the students who want to go into nursing?
ZK: Nursing is a job you either enjoy or don’t; there’s no in-between. It’s very challenging but rewarding at the same time. Every day is a new day in the nursing world. You start the shift with a smile and a positive vibe, maintain it, and end the day with it.