Real-life story - Aisha Thabet
Aisha chose adult nursing as it allowed her to keep her options open for a future career. Her message to those thinking about nursing? You'll have a lot of freedom and not just told what to do by doctors.
What made you decide to become a nurse?
When deciding on which nursing specialism to choose I knew I wanted to keep my options open. Adult nursing covers all fields of healthcare ranging from neo natal care to end of life. Working in A&E means you see patients from all ages and backgrounds so this felt like a great fit.
I had also been inspired by my time working closely with nurses and witnessing first-hand the amazing work nurses do and knew it was the career choice for me.
How did you become a nurse?
In 2010 I worked as an apprentice in care on an elderly ward, I then saw a job as a healthcare assistant advertised and I grabbed it with both hands. In this role I was working with vulnerable people on a daily basis helping them with severe conditions such as dementia. It was during this time that I found my passion for helping people and saw how rewarding a career in nursing could be. I was also working closely with nurses on a daily basis and saw how much amazing work they did and I felt I wanted to have more responsibility, like they do.
At school I had only completed my AS levels so I decided to enrol myself on an access to health science course. I then applied to Sheffield Hallam and got accepted onto the adult nursing course. During this time I was pregnant with my second child and I had a decision to make. I knew that this was what I wanted to do so I deferred my place until March and started my degree when my children were two and two months! It was pretty daunting but there was loads of support available and luckily I had great family support that allowed me to pursue my career in nursing.
What do you do on a day to day basis?
Nurses are on the front line of an A&E ward! When patients come in we make an initial assessment and have to decide whether the patient needs immediate attention and we observe anything that needs flagging like sepsis or any cardiac issues. We have to make a plan for the patient before they see a doctor to ensure they get the best care possible.
As a nurse working on an A&E ward there are lots of instances where you have to take control of the situation and be the decision-maker and even though this was a bit daunting at first it is really empowering and there’s always loads of support around you. Sheffield is also a major trauma centre so often we have to work with the trauma lead and get stuck in with everything that needs doing.
You work alongside some really great people on a regular basis whether it be the doctors and senior nurses you work with every day or working with the front door response team to ensure an elderly patient gets the care they need enabling them to return home safely, or even working with the police.
The best bits
I love seeing the speedy turnaround of patients. Most patients when they come into A&E are suffering some serious pain and it’s great to be able to stabilise them and put a plan in place that means they get the best care possible.
I also love the variety of the work, you never know what you’re going to see next. You are treating different people with different needs every day and that makes the job really exciting.
Career plans and top tips for others
I am currently completing my preceptorship which takes six to eight months and has been a really great experience so far in helping me make the transition from student to qualified nurse. At the moment I’m keeping my options open in terms of next steps. That’s one of the best things about choosing nursing, the fact that there are so many different options I can take and it’s so flexible. Who knows what the future holds!
Top tips? Remember nurses are autonomous practitioners and you are not always being delegated to. Nurses are a vital front line team member and doctors and other members of the multidisciplinary team are always seeking your input and advice.