Kick starting my career in critical care

Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust has developed a world-leading critical care centre, which will be the largest in Europe. The centre is designed to transform the care of seriously ill and injured patients, and to care for patients with some of the most complex conditions. Not only will the new unit benefit patients, it will also create an excellent opportunity for staff in the unit to work with state-of-the-art technology, giving them more capabilities in enhancing patient care. Gemma, a critical care nurse who has been working in her unit since February 2017, describes how working at the trust has already benefitted her career.

Why did you decide to become a critical care nurse?

I decided to work within intensive care when I was training to become a nurse at Queen’s University in Belfast. During my training, I had a placement in a busy critical care unit; for me, at the time, nothing else compared to this experience. I qualified as a registered nurse four years ago and haven’t looked back since.

What do you love about being a nurse?

I love making a genuine difference to a person’s life, which is especially relevant within critical care. Most of the time, no matter how small the care I give is, it will have an impact on the patient. I regularly meet the families of patients and their loved ones when they visit the hospital, and it’s great to see that the care given to the patient is also having an impact on their lives too. I think every nurse needs to have a passion for the profession; otherwise they wouldn’t enjoy their job.

How has working at King’s College Hospital enhanced your skills as a nurse?

Working in a critical care unit means that you regularly experience situations on a daily basis that challenge you. The attacks at London Bridge in June 2017 changed my nursing experience completely — I never thought I would be exposed to a situation like that. That experience made me realise how well my team work together. Whether you are a nurse, a doctor or a health care assistant, everyone pitches in to ensure that we are providing the best care possible, and the night of the London Bridge attacks was no exception. I’m proud to be part of such a dedicated team.

What is your favourite part of working at the trust?

I really enjoy the fact that no two days are ever the same. I’m constantly learning and I’m always challenged and motivated. My team also make my job enjoyable; there are 14 beds in the unit which means that there are approximately 14 nurses on shift at any given time. This means that I’m always working with nurses who have different experiences, allowing me to develop my own skillset, which is another aspect that I love about working in critical care.

How would you describe the recruitment process at Kings?

Brilliant — I felt fully supported and informed about the job role prior to the interview, which I have never really experienced before. Although I don’t usually have much contact with HR when applying for a role, members of the recruitment team, particularly Jo and Heidi, were extremely supportive throughout the entire process, and I cannot thank them enough.

Would you recommend a friend or colleague to work at the trust?

Yes, definitely; my experiences with the trust, from the initial application process and interview to working with my team in the unit, has been extremely positive. It is a great environment to establish your career and gain the best experience.

If you’re interested in finding out more about the exclusive permanent opportunities at Kings College Hospital NHS Foundation Trust with Pulse, contact our permanent recruitment team on 020 7959 1019.

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