We talk to Donna Jones, who qualified as a nurse in 2010. She is a specialist practitioner student in district nursing, seconded from Shropshire Community Health Trust.
Why did you decide to become a nurse?
After the birth of my second child I spent a lot of time in hospital and gained a deeper appreciation of the NHS. The compassion and support of the midwives inspired me to train.
Where did you train?
What was your first job in nursing?
As staff nurse in an emergency surgical assessment unit.
What is the trait you least like in yourself and why?
I am extremely driven and enthusiastic, which is fantastic in terms of career and personal development but, outside of work, I get involved with many different things so it can be difficult to keep up with myself.
From whom have you learnt most in your nursing career?
My patients without a doubt. I find humans and the way we behave fascinating. Every day I learn more about peoples’ personalities, opinions, influences, motivators, resistors and communication and how I can apply this knowledge to different situations.
What advice would you give someone starting out?
Do the right thing. It’s such a simple statement but, sadly, we hear reports of where it has been overlooked sometimes.
What’s the most satisfying part of your job?
Making a difference to somebody. Nursing can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding, but the sense of achievement and reward from realising the best outcomes for a patient are second to none.
What’s your proudest achievement?
I used to be a single teenage mother and, through a lot of hard work and determination, I am now on the Master’s degree course to be a specialist practitioner in district nursing, with a husband of 13 years and two lovely children.
What would you have done if you hadn’t become a nurse?
I honestly don’t know. Nursing is about the only thing with the variety, academia and personal contact that I need from a job.
What job would you like to be doing in five years?
I’d like to run a team - management is something I definitely enjoy. But I need to qualify in my specialist practice for district nursing first, so I had better put the binoculars down for a minute.
What do you think makes a good nurse?
A pair of ears - the one thing a good nurse will do is listen.
If you could change one thing in healthcare, what would it be?
Paperwork. I understand the need for documentation in patient care, but the volume of paperwork is disheartening. I don’t have the answers but I’m sure technology will in future.
What would your ideal weekend involve?
Being in a log cabin with my husband, children, dogs, a log fire, hot tub, home-cooked food, board games, no TV or internet and a lost mobile phone.
If you could spend an hour in someone’s company, who would it be and why?
I’m not really a celebrity person. I would probably want to spend it with a victim of poverty from a developing country in attempt to better understand ways of providing help.