Challenging, rewarding, and humbling – that’s how newly qualified nurse Laura Martin describes working in the intensive care unit at the William Harvey Hospital.
Laura joined the team in September, after spending a placement on the unit as a student and seeing the impact critical care nursing could have.
Now she can’t imagine being anywhere else and loves being part of a dedicated and specialist team.
She said: “I have been here for a month but I feel so settled and happy here. It is a privilege to work within the team.
“It is rewarding looking after patients who are really sick. I also love supporting families and the fact you can really see the impact of your nursing care.
“This is why I came to nursing, it is challenging and rewarding and quite humbling. You are supported to deliver the best nursing care you can, and the care you would want your family members to receive.
“I wouldn’t want to be anywhere else now.”
Like all new starters to the unit, Laura’s first few weeks were spent as a supernumerary – an additional member of staff without her own patients to care for, so she could shadow more experienced nurses.
Mentors ensure she achieves the specific competencies needed to work in intensive care, while on-the-job training is continuous.
Laura said: “The support and training here is different to any other ward, where you are often left to get on with it.
“You are not left here, and you are always learning, supported and guided. It is very scientific which suits me, and although it is a steep learning curve it doesn’t feel like it.
“I found it helped to set myself small goals at first, like really feeling comfortable in the environment with the different machines and noises.
“It’s normal to feel apprehensive because all the patients are super sick and your intervention is super critical, but there are no expectations when you start and you are given time to breathe and familiarise yourself with the set-up.”