Staff career stories - Anneka

Anneka photo.jpg

Meet Anneka

Skyrocketing her career at Dorset HealthCare from band 5 community nurse to district nurse team lead for west Dorset.

 

What made you decide to work for Dorset HealthCare?

After working in the acute hospital for 9 months an opportunity came up to work as a community staff nurse within Dorset Healthcare, at the time (10 years ago) this was an extremely rare opportunity. After completing a placement in the community as a pre-reg student nurse I knew the community was the area of nursing I wanted to be in.

What do you enjoy about working in your team here?

The support that they show me and each other astounds me every day. They work extremely hard, and never expect any recognition which they all deserve. We are a very close locality made up of four district nursing teams and the cohesion between us all makes you feel that even when there are complex patients or low staff within a team that actually you are never alone, and we are very well supported as a locality. I can honestly say I have never dreaded a day coming to work, and I thoroughly enjoy being around everyone, both staff and patients. The saying 'do a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life' and this is exactly how I feel working for Dorset HealthCare.

What do you love about your role in the community?

I love being able to brighten my patients day, putting them first and ultimately keeping them at home for as long as safely possible. I enjoy the challenge of walking in to a new patients home not knowing what I am going to be faced with. I am trusted to work autonomously to deal with all the different medical and social aspects but, my expertise and knowledge is also complemented by working alongside the close MDT that we have in West Dorset.

Having the one-on-one time with your patient to really get to know them is invaluable, and something that I really noticed when coming out of the acute setting. I feel that this allows you to give truly person centred care which is what we all strive for. Even despite all the current challenges that nursing, covid and community nursing in particular can bring it is still my absolute passion and a field of nursing that I will never leave. It is a honour to be a guest in someone’s home providing many acute clinical skills and treatments. We are the wards without any walls.

 

"Having the one-on-one time with your patient to really get to know them is invaluable, and one of the biggest differences I noticed when coming out of working in an acute setting. It is an honour to be a guest in someone’s home providing acute clinical skills and treatments. We are the wards without any walls."


How have you grown personally and professionally at Dorset HealthCare?

After joining the trust as a newly qualified nurse I was actually lacking many clinical skills required to fulfil my role. However, the learning and development team here offered a wealth of courses that I attended. My colleagues also taught and supported me daily 'on the job', which allowed me to learn a variety of clinical skills in quite a small space of time. These clinical skills included; leg ulcer management, syringe driver training, catheter training, IV’s, venepuncture to name but a few. Dorset HealthCare work alongside other health care providers to supply training ensuring we gain a variety of expert knowledge from courses. I have attended many courses provided by weldmar to improve my palliative care knowledge. 

Then, seven years ago, I was lucky enough to be offered a secondment at Dorset HealthCare to complete my specialist practice qualification at Southampton University. This was funded by the Trust and Health Education Wessex and I genuinely feel very privileged to have been able to do this training and give something back by progressing my career in the community setting. I really hope to now inspire other community nurses to apply for their District Nurse training.

All in all, Dorset HealthCare has given me the encouragement, commitment and opportunities for me to now be in a managerial position, managing many nurses and healthcare assistants who once mentored me as a pre-reg student.

What would you say to someone considering applying to work at Dorset HealthCare?

Do it! You really wont regret it. The sheer amount of career opportunities and prospects that Dorset HealthCare provide to allow you to professionally develop and progress in your career is by far the best around.

 

"I can honestly say I have never dreaded a day coming to work, and I thoroughly enjoy being around everyone, both staff and patients. The saying 'do a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life' is exactly how I feel working for Dorset HealthCare."

Band 5 Nurses