As a Nurse with 30 years of experience, Debra Carey brings a lot to the table as Clinical Lead with New Directions Health & Social Care.
Debra supports our agency Nurses in their training and development, drawing on her extensive knowledge and understanding of Nursing.
Read our Q&A to get to know Debra, find out about her career and the advice she has for agency Nurses…
Can you tell us why you would recommend agency Nursing?
“Agency working can be really valuable for a number of reasons. Registered Nurses can look for extra income and this is often at higher rates of pay due to being short notice work. Crucially, agency Nurses are able to quickly adapt to different environments, which is a terrific trait to develop. Being able to choose when you want to work and where is a great advantage and can help a Nurse balance work with their personal commitments.”
Tell us about your experience as a nurse.
“I’ve had various experiences working as a Registered Nurse (RN). My Nursing background is in Intensive Care, where I cared for critically unwell patients and working within a close team was really important.”
Why were you attracted to Nursing?
“I wanted to train as a Nurse when I was in secondary school but I left school and followed a different career path. After meeting my husband and starting a family, I decided years later it was the career I wanted. It was full of opportunity and had excellent job security, so I started my journey to become a Nurse
“After completing further education, I commenced my Nurse training. I had dreamed of becoming a community midwife but once I had a placement in Intensive Care, I realised this was the area of Nursing that I wanted to be in. My dream was to look after people and make a difference during their illness. I can honestly say no two days were ever the same.”
What are the highlights of your career?
“I have so many highlights from Nursing, it’s given me so many memories and moments to enjoy. Being chosen to represent my NHS Trust at a convention in Alhambra Palace in Grenada was indeed a highlight, and so was meeting a colleague who has become my best friend. I’m also especially proud of becoming a Band 6 Nurse before going onto further education, where I achieved a BSc in Critical Care.
“Working in Intensive Care during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic was unlike anything we had ever known. Caring for these unwell patients was a challenge as the complexity of the virus was not known at the start. Whilst it wasn’t a highlight, it was one of the most memorable parts of my career.”
What is the best advice you’d give to a Newly Qualified Nurse?
“The best advice I can give to a Newly Qualified Nurse would be to work as a carer either in the community or in a hospital prior to starting their training to gain experience. It’s also important to help yourself by not being afraid to ask for help in the beginning of their career. It’s certainly safer to ask for help than do something wrong. Joining focus groups within your settings is another great way to increase knowledge.”
Are there certain key skills that nurses should always look to develop?
“Communication skills are essential. Whether they are computer skills or how to break bad news, there’s always ways we can improve our communication skills and it makes a massive difference to patients. Attending study days is a great way to develop knowledge along with meeting other professionals.”
Tell us about your experience of working with New Directions?
“New Directions is a very friendly environment to work in. The staff are so welcoming here and they’re always happy to explain how different processes work. Since coming to New Directions, I’ve always felt that the perspective of those at the forefront of delivering care is really valued. The training support from New Directions is very beneficial for Nurses, too.”
We hope Debra’s story has inspired you to consider agency Nursing with New Directions Health & Social Care. Contact us to find out more about the opportunities we have available or register now if you’re ready to make a difference.