Meet Sophie, who started with CityCare on placement and is now a Senior Staff Nurse in St Ann’s community nursing team. She has spoken to us about her role and journey here at CityCare.

Tell us a little about yourself…

I was born and raised in Nottingham and in my spare time I am a synchronised swimmer, which I’ve done for 12 years – this has given me the opportunity to be captain and more recently trained at a master’s level. I also relax by spending time with my family and friends and also my dog and two cats, Nancy, Oscar and Dee-Dee

I graduated with a 1st in Adult Nursing in September 2019. I had my 3rd-year placement at CityCare, based in St Ann’s community nursing team. I loved my placement and working in the community so I applied for a Community Nurse role and in March 2020, was successfully appointed as a Senior Staff Nurse.

Why did you choose to work for CityCare?

I had completed my placement within CityCare and I realised while doing it that I really enjoyed working in the community. I felt I didn’t need experience in an acute setting as community nursing provides a wide array of care: wound care, catheter care, palliative care etc. I wasn’t worried about my skills not developing as I was very well supported as a student and community nursing brings a lot of situations that those in acute care may not experience.

What is your favourite part of the job?

Independence and autonomy to make decisions on your own - my confidence has rocketed. I had lots of support when I first started so it wasn’t long before I was comfortable making decisions with patients’ best interests in mind. 

With sometimes walking into the unknown there is a great feeling of variety and to start this can be scary, as it’s not like a hospital when you’ve continuously got someone else around, it’s just you and the patient. But this increases your confidence quickly and it is important to know that support in the community is always just a phone call away. 

I also love providing patients care in their own homes; they’re comfortable in their own space which allows us to build a really good rapport between health care professionals and patients. It allows you to see your patients as people, which allows for well-rounded holistic care in the community.

What is your team like?

I have been with the same team from being a student until the present which has allowed me to grow and develop with the support of all my colleagues. The support we all get from one another is what helps us to keep going in such a challenging job. 

The team is varied in experience and interests so our combined knowledge and skills are always utilised. There’s always some sort of collection for someone’s birthday or baby shower or some other celebration. When possible we have fuddles, arrange meals and have Christmas parties which really help with morale and team bonding.

As a team, we try and make sure we get regular lunch breaks and strive to have a friendly and positive environment. The support I have received over the past two years from my line manager and team leader has always been exceptional and helped me to develop into the nurse I am today. 

What are the greatest challenges?

The biggest challenge I’ve overcome is probably what I now enjoy most about my job - the independence and autonomy surrounding making decisions for patient care. It’s about having the confidence to make a decision under pressure, but in reality, you always have the support of a colleague, GP or any other allied health professional that is working with the patient. 

It is a big responsibility, but you get a thorough induction and shadowing period and over time you build up the confidence to be an autonomous practitioner. 

What do you like about CityCare?

I think the induction support for new starters has improved vastly, the training opportunities are thorough and there isn’t a rush to get you out on your own. If you aren’t sure or don’t feel ready you can take as long as you need and I think this is really important when starting a new career. Patient care always comes first and the focus on developing our expertise and putting the patient at the heart of everything we do makes you really feel like you are making a difference. 

The access to training is also good, there is a booking system to book on to virtual training and face-to-face and it isn’t hard to access CPD. The act that we are an NHS provider also means we get all the information, and benefits as NHS colleagues in other areas. 

What would you say to anyone wanting to join CityCare?

Give it a go! We are always looking for Band 5 nurses. You don’t need to have experience in an acute setting to join CityCare either. 

It is so varied and if you enjoyed your community placement you will not get bored working here as no two days are the same. It isn’t a lonely job working in the community, you have great colleagues and all the support you need. There are lots of training opportunities, so you get out of it what you put in, you will quickly be independent and your career will progress.

Date published: 26 August 2021