Angela Murphy, nursing associate
We spoke with Angela, also known as Angie, who shared her journey with us from a healthcare assistant (HCA) to nursing associate. The role is designed to help bridge the gap between health and care assistants and registered nurses, as well as helping to provide a progression route into graduate level nursing.
So Angie, tell us about why you wanted to start your nursing career?
It's something I've always wanted to do from an early age, however I wasn't able to get the right grades at school so I went to college and completed a number of pre nursing courses. Two weeks before I was due to start my first nursing role, my dad sadly passed away and unfortunately I wasn't able to complete my course. I then got married and had children, and as they grew up, I knew that I really wanted to revisit my nursing career. My mother and husband have both been unwell and have been patients here at UHS. Seeing the nurses work so hard to care for my family only made my passion to pursure my nursing career grow even more.
What were your next steps?
I started my journey here as an HCA, joining the orthopaedics team in elective surgery, and it was here that I completed my NVQ Level 3 in nursing. I really wanted to explore the 'ins and outs' of nursing and had been really interested in working in the emergency department for a long time, so when the opportunity came up I jumped at it. I've now been part of the ED team for nearly 9 years!
I then started my nursing associate training, which was a brand new role at the time. I'm one out of twelve of the first cohort at this Trust. I completed two years of university and finished in March 2019. I then qualified and graduated in July. I really wanted to continue working in the emergency medicine team, but at the time there were no vacancies. I decided to take some time out for six months, all while keeping an eye out for a vacancy which eventually came up and I applied straight away.
What do you love most about your job?
Its about being able to help patients and their families and seeing them get to go home feeling better... It's fulfilling to watch them progress through their own journey here, and be able to make that scary time for them bearable when they are with us under our care. I feel like I'm able to see the bigger picture because I started as an HCA. It's all about basic nursing care, but now I see things from a different angle in my new role. It's hard, but it's a very fulfilling job.
What was it about UHS that made you want to work here?
UHS is a centre of excellence and with all the different specialties it's an exciting place to be. I've been closely involved in the cardiac department as my mother and husband have both been very poorly. I've seen UHS from the patient perspective too and the care that is provided is second to none, and I just love being able to say that I am now a part of that.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I catch up on lots of sleep! I have a granddaughter who keeps me very busy too. I also have three dogs: Sonny, Misty and Skye, as well as a cat called Sparkle, so I'm always on my toes.
What would you say has been your biggest challenge so far?
I'm very good at doing the practical side of things, however I really struggle with the academic side. It was the university course that I found really challenging. I'm 53 and the majority of the people on my course were much younger and fresh out of education. It was a huge gap for me, but I worked hard to overcome my initial lack of confidence and achieve my ambitions. I also met some fantastic people on the course who are going to be lifelong friends and their endless support was brilliant.
What would you say to somebody who is keen to start their nursing career here at UHS?
My team are fantastic, everybody pulls together and it's a nice place to come to work in. People know your name and after a tough day it can be hard to unwind, so you're emotionally supportive of one another, from the top down.
It takes a lot of hard work and determination. I would definitely recommend investing the time to develop yourself as much as you can, but really push and go for it. UHS has supported me through this and they want you to achieve your goals.