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A core member of a medical team, nurses help assess, diagnose and plan patient treatment as well providing general care for anyone in physical or mental ill health.

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  • Paramedic assistant 2
  • Emergency call handler 3
  • Physiotherapy assistant 4
  • Advocacy worker 5
  • Nurse 6

Gemma's story

Gemma's story Michael talked to me like I
was a normal human being,
rather than a sick person.

I had to have bone marrow transplant this year, so after the procedure I had to stay in hospital for three months in a special room to protect my immune system. It was difficult, quite lonely and boring, especially as a lot of my friends were starting new jobs after uni. I had visitors, but there’s just a lot of sitting around waiting to get better.

Thank goodness for Michael. He was one of the nurses on my team and just made every day a little bit easier. He tells the most awful jokes but they always made me laugh, even on days when I thought I’d never get back to a normal life. You hear a lot about how tough it is in the NHS, but Michael was amazing. He always had some time to chat about music, which we both love. He talked to me like I was a normal human being, rather than this sick person with a catalogue of problems. He made the time I had to spend in hospital so much more bearable.

Worker: Nurse

Michael's story

Michael's story You can really make
a difference and when you
see it on a patient’s face,
that makes my day.

You meet a lot of different people working in a hospital, but it’s quite rare to have someone stay as long as Gemma. I liked her as soon as we met – we’re about the same age and share a passion for live music. Plus she was a captive audience for my terrible jokes!

You never know who or what you’re going to see next, working as a nurse and I get a real sense of pleasure out of adapting to the situation in front of me. What I love most though, is the personal interaction with patients – you get a completely different outlook on life when you meet people like Gemma who are dealing with really tough physical and mental challenges.

The first day Gemma was able to leave the isolation room I took her out into the hospital garden and her reaction was just magical. You get to make a real difference in this job and when you see it on a patient’s face, that just makes my day.


Is this you?

Nursing does require some formal training, but if you recognise any of these characteristics then you’re already in with a head start:



Nurses deal with lots of different people and conditions, so you need to love helping others and have a pragmatic, but flexible, approach to life.


Excellent communication skills

Naturally, with so many patients – and their families – to see you’ll also need excellent communications skills, empathy, patience, and kindness.


Cheerful and sensitive

This is a challenging job – you’re working with patients who are often under a great deal of stress – so it definitely helps to have a cheerful, sensitive approach on life.


Strong observation skills

It also suits someone with strong observation skills and who is a confident decision maker.


Critical thinker

You’ll often be part of a wider team of medical experts, which means the job suits critical thinkers who can work both independently and in partnership.

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