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12th May is officially International Nurses’ Day, a day that aims to recognise the important contribution that nurses make to society. So, what better time to get to know YourGP’s resident Practice Nurse, Laura?
Here, she gives us a unique insight into her everyday life at the practice, revealing the challenges and rewards of the valuable role she plays here.
How long have you worked at YourGP?
I’ve worked here for two and a half years.
Have you always wanted to be a nurse?
Whilst at high school, I worked in a nursing home and I really enjoyed caring for the elders there. I had a dream to travel and nursing brought these two passions together.
What training did you have to undertake to become a nurse?
In 1999, I began my nursing journey with a diploma at Napier University, Edinburgh. Just after, I joined the Nephrology and Kidney Transplantation Programme with the Renal Team at the old Royal Infirmary as part of my university modules.
Since then, as well as ongoing Continuous Professional Development training, I have completed training in Travel Medicine and General Practice Nurse training, amongst other areas.
What qualities do you think need to be a great nurse?
The basics of a good nurse would be kindness, compassion, and a good listener. You learn and develop so much being a nurse – communication skills, patience, how to critically assess a situation, and organise your day, for example.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Meeting the community and making people’s trips to the doctors as pleasant as possible is hugely rewarding.
Also, I love the varied options for study and the potential for travel. I lived abroad for several years – there is a lot of opportunity that comes with being a registered nurse.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Even when technology is playing up or we’re having a very busy day that raises the stress levels a little, I love working at YourGP. I firmly believe that any challenges are made better with gratitude.
What are the most common services you offer at YourGP?
As a nurse, my main responsibilities include occupational health assessments, audiology, spirometry, electrocardiograms, phlebotomy, travel medicine assessments, vaccinations, injections, and immunisations.
Has the pandemic had an impact on your role?
Aside from the PPE requirements, we are lucky at YourGP to have lots of windows opening to the river so the rooms are always fresh and airy. The diary saw some quiet times during 2020 but all is returning to normal now.
What advice would you give someone considering becoming a nurse?
If you feel called to study it, you just need kindness and a willingness to learn, and you will gain everything as you go. You grow and develop so many skills with nursing. It is a journey of courage, self-belief, and trust. You must understand that there will be some very challenging workdays where you will be faced with some frustration, but you will meet and care for many lovely people from all walks of life.
What is the best thing about working at YourGP?
My co-workers – I couldn’t ask for a better team, the staff are all amazing. Plus, the location is peaceful and it’s a lovely place to work. Every person who arrives for a consultation loves Dean Village as much as we do! I think the riverside location brings an element of calmness and a little bit of joy to attending a doctor or nurse appointment.
If you weren’t a nurse, what job do you think you would do?
I would be a writer, travelling the world taking pictures of sunrises and sunsets.
Halfway round the world from home (Australia) and really needed a GP. YourGP provided excellent prompt service. Made a call at 10.15am and was seen by a very caring doctor at 11.30am. Great ambassadors for Edinburgh.