Barry – a Bureau Nurse – started out in his career as a Caregiver, but decided to pivot later in life and completed his Nurses Training just over 20 years ago. He says his interest in caregiving came from a fascination with medicine, as well as “just helping people and being there in times of need.”
While nursing does have the potential to be an incredibly rewarding profession, it’s also important to shed light on the grittier aspects of the day-to-day that nurses experience. Barry says that “bickering with staff, and sometimes the odd patient as well” is an experience he had to get used to.
“[There are lots of] very, very big personalities, I’ve had staff swear and argue with me, raise their voices at me… A patient might demand meds, and I give her the maximum that I can and she’ll still demand more.”
“But… at the end of the day I do the best I can. I’ve always got the patient in mind, so if they reject my care that’s their problem as far as I’m concerned, I just document it all. That’s all I can do. … And, I reflect quite a bit on my practice, and, well, I do make mistakes, because we’re only human, but at the time I always do my best. And that’s all I can do. With the knowledge I have, and the training I’ve had, I provide the best that I can.”
In his experience as a male nurse, Barry also says he still thinks there is a bit of prejudice about being openly caring as a man. With providing cares being such a crucial part of his current job in a nursing home, he feels this on a regular basis.
“You get some male clients who must think you’re weird because you want to do this and that to them…! But, you just keep on, you do the best you can – if you can’t do it, if they won’t let you do it – as long as it’s not life threatening, then ok!”
Despite the difficulties, Barry says the moments that keep him in the job are the times when he can actually help people. “Sometimes it’s an acute, sudden situation, sometimes it’s just providing comfort cares to someone who’s dying.”
“It’s stressful. Rewarding. It’s all of it. It keeps you learning, keeps you interested I suppose. I can be interesting, it can be rewarding, but it can also be really stressful and tough.”
Have you been thinking about becoming a nurse, but you aren’t quite sure? Get in touch; we’d love to hear from you and be a part of starting you on your journey!