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OPINION

Nursing is in my blood

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Joining the Nursing Times team feels a bit like fate …

So I’m new to this, but nursing really is in my blood.

My dad, formerly a sugar cane labourer, emigrated from Mauritius with his freedom ticket – a nursing scholarship – to train at Manchester University. My mum, born in England, took her nurse training at Manchester too. They met in the nursing canteen. If you wanted to be cheesy you could say my life is a bit of a nursing love story.

I’ve grown up surrounded by talk of the NHS and copies of nursing magazines, so joining the Nursing Times team is incredibly exciting and also feels a bit like fate. During half-term my sister and I were bundled into the back seat of my mum’s car and told to amuse ourselves as she went about her health visitor rounds. Playing ‘health visitor’, complete with my own intray and fake pile of paperwork, was a favourite game that topped ‘vet’ and even ‘outdoor explorer’.

Even though I didn’t follow my family’s footsteps, I have the utmost respect for the nursing profession. And am always shocked when others don’t.

This isn’t just because my parents are nurses, but because it feels right. I know I’m preaching to the converted, but nurses are the ones who care for your mum when she gets too frail for you to do it. They’re the ones who give a dying friend their last source of human comfort, or help a young child cope with leukaemia. So why wouldn’t people give you respect?

Why haven’t you automatically been granted a seat on the new commissioning consortia? Why do you have to fight for it? Who else can give such a unique view on the NHS? It seems like common sense to me.

Not everyone has had the same type of nursing education as I have, but we need to encourage an ingrained cultural respect for nurses and what they do. It’s only been a week, but I’ll try my best.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • I chanced across your article. I am in no way medical but I was involved in equipment supply many years ago.
    My wife died a few days ago, for many years a medical secretary to an orthopaedic surgeon, and it seemed appropriate that I should mention the wonderful nursing support I had at home that enabled me to keep her there to the end.
    You have a challenging job to empower the nursing profession through these difficult times. Good luck!

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