A day in the life of a Kings Heath community nurse

Laura knew from an early age that nursing was the career for her.

“I don’t know what prompted me to want to be a nurse – I just knew it was what I wanted to do,” said Laura.

The first in her family to go to university and to choose a career in healthcare, Laura was accepted into the University of Birmingham to study a three-year Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. After that she spent a year doing her preceptorship at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Selly Oak.

A few months before Laura graduated she found her first permanent position incolorectal surgery as a staff nurse, looking after pre and post-operative patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital. In her role, Laura was dealing with anything from patients with colorectal cancer and chronic bowel diseases to road traffic accidents, traumas and military admissions.

Laura said: “I remember when I first started it was all so overwhelming. I was thrown in at the deep end – all of a sudden I was responsible for 12 patients on a ward. This gave me so much confidence, and I improved all of my competencies by getting experience on an acute ward.

“I remember being one of the first nurses to respond to a cardiac arrest call on the ward for a car crash admission. It was just me and one other nurse and we had to resuscitate the patient. It was an extremely rewarding experience to be able to save that person’s life – that gave me a huge confidence boost.”

Although Laura enjoyed her time in acute care, she had always set her sights on a community role, having been inspired by her mentor at university, who was a community nurse. Now working as part of a busy community team of 10, handling around 140 patient visits every day, Laura enjoys the variety her role brings. “The main focus for our team is preventative work and long-term condition management,” said Laura.

“The first part of my day is usually spent visiting patients with diabetes, palliative patients or people with acute surgical wounds.” Despite the many pressures of modern nursing, Laura and her colleagues are a high performing team, with an excellent record in preventing pressure ulcers, boasting 500 pressure ulcer free days.

Laura, who is based at All Saints Medical Practice in Kings Heath, said: “I love my job because it combines all of my favourite things about nursing. I enjoy being able to support patients in their home – you get to know each patient’s family and they make you feel part of it. That’s the biggest difference between working in the community and working in a hospital – it’s that person centred approach that I wouldn’t change for the world.”