We spoke to staff nurse Phoebe Andrew about some of the highlights and challenges in her job and being awarded Star of the Month.
1) Hi Phoebe, what does a normal day/week look like for you?
When I come into work, the first thing I do is look at my patients’ handover from the previous night and see what their care needs are for the day. I then go around and introduce myself to each of the patients in the ward and ask how they are doing and if they have any pain. I also check if they need a wash or anything they want, it’s essentially making sure they are ok.
I also give them medication if needed both in the morning and the afternoon.
2) How long have you been working for Barts Health?
After I finished my nurse studies in 2020, I started working here as a band 3 nurse and since October 2020 I’ve been working in Bracken Ward here at Whipps Cross.
3) What do you enjoy the most about your job? What keeps you going?
I love the feeling I get when I’m helping patients, especially those who are more fragile. When I look after my patients and I notice there’s been a slight improvement, I feel that I’ve done something good and I feel very happy about that.
For me also it’s about the little things like cleaning their face or making sure their face is clean, these things can make a big difference for them and I also tend to put myself in their shoes, thinking ‘what if it was me?’.
Also when my patients come to me and thank me for what I’ve done, I feel so good about it because I feel that I’ve accomplished something good.
I love being a nurse. When I was a child, someone said to me ‘oh you look like you’d be a good nurse’. That’s my nature, I love helping people, anywhere I can, and I always try my best.
4) Any particular highlight from the past few months?
A few months ago, we had a patient and every time I was on shift she would look a bit poorly and some days she would feel a bit better and other days a bit worse. When I had the chance to look after her for a couple of days she started to look better, I could see her face glowing, but I also thought that there was something in her blood sugar so I had a look at that and gave her some glucose and she was much better and was able to walk, so I’m happy that I was able to see through.
5) How do you feel about being awarded the Star of the Month award?
I was surprised because I wasn’t expecting this at all. I just did it because I couldn’t leave the patient like that. If it was me, I would have felt awful if no one was able to help me.
I was surprised to get the award and I told everyone in the ward and my family too!
6) Is there anything else that you’d like to share?
Some days could be challenging, but no matter where you work, you just take it one day at a time. When you feel it’s much, or that you can’t take it anymore, go for a walk, take a break, clear your head and come back.
Being a nurse is what I always wanted to do and I don’t think I would be able to do something else.