My desire to work in healthcare began with my father. My dad was a smoker and had heart disease. The day he was diagnosed, I knew that it was my responsibility to ensure that he wasn’t doing anything to jeopardise his health, and to ensure he was going to his appointments and taking his medication. I became my father’s carer which instilled within me a determination to help others.
I came to the UK as a student on a business administration course around 12 years ago. After graduating, I found a job in retail, but I knew that this wasn’t where I wanted to be in life. My dream was to work in healthcare, so I decided to apply for a role as a healthcare worker in a care home.
After working in the care home, I started working as a healthcare assistant and then joined the nursing apprenticeship. Health inequalities are prevalent throughout healthcare services, and I want to improve circumstances so everyone, particularly people from the black community, have equal access to care. I want to become one of the people that can bridge that gap. I think understanding culture and ethnic background is so important in healthcare.
As a married person, studying the apprenticeship has been a challenge as I must balance my family, work, and studies. However, the experience has been invaluable, and I have already been able to incorporate what I have learnt into practice during my working hours.
Working in mental health has been interesting and really pushed me as a human. We must be careful how we live our lives because most of us just go through our lives mindlessly working without taking a break and consequently our mental health suffers. Loneliness is one of the key factors which can contribute to worsening mental health. This has pushed me to find ways to get through to people and to communicate in ways that are beneficial to them.
After I become a registered nurse, I will be able to take on more responsibility and make a difference to people’s lives and the healthcare service as a whole – the staff, the patients, and their families. I can see major problems in the healthcare system, and I look forward to making a meaningful impact.